24 Minutes with Jonathan Roy
Despite the lineage of being the son of legendary NHL goaltender Patrick Roy, 27-year-old Jonathan has established himself as a recording artist of note; riding the crest of a wave with a breakout CD, “Mr. Optimist Blues.’ He spent 24 Seconds with Joe Leary.
24: Knowing you family background, we know where the hockey gene came from but where did the musical gene emanate?
JR: It definitely came from my mother. I was about 11 or 12 years old and my mom had bought the drums; the guitars, piano for Christmas and she always tried to push me towards music.
24: Were you showing any musical inclination early on?
JR: Yeah I was – at Christmas time and parties that we had at home with the family and stuff…I loved the Backstreet Boys back in the day and I would get my little brother and sister and we would just sing and dance in the garage and I would charge the family $20 to come and see our show. That’s probably where I made most of my money!
24: You obviously followed in your father’s footsteps and pursued hockey but you changed course and followed your musical path. When you changed direction were there doubters or was it complete support from family and friends?
JR: Of course there’s doubt from everyone,….”is he going to really dig deep and go for this; is he going to put the work and time that’s needed,” because a lot of people want to sing and a lot of people want to play guitar and be up on stage but there’s a lot of work and a lot sacrifices and I think that’s the doubt in this that my mom or my dad had – “is he really in love with this and is it really going to be his passion?” I’ve been doing this since I was 19 so it’s been like eight years and I haven’t given up – I still love it just as much as the first day that I got up on stage.
24: In Canada especially, is there more pressure on you because of your last name?
JR: I don’t really listen to what people think or say. I love what I do and that’s all I focus on; getting better and better and getting up onstage and giving my best; writing songs, working with people in the studio and getting the best songs possible. The rest – those are things that are out of my control, I can’t control that. I put pressure on myself to be good and to be better than good. I have a role model like my dad who, at one point was the best goaltender in the world. I want to leave a mark on this earth.
24: How did you connect with Corey Hart?
JR: Five years ago I was finishing up a musical in Quebec and a friend of mine gave me his email; I was looking for someone that had a vision that could help me write songs and someone suggested Corey Hart. I thought there was no way he was going to work with me; I mean the guys got a family and he wouldn’t have time for me. But I thought I’d give it a try so I emailed him and explained who I was and what I wanted to do and sent him a few songs. He wrote back and said unfortunately he wasn’t interested and didn’t have the time. I’m a Roy and I don’t give up and I knew that he and my dad had met back in ’86 where my dad’s sister took a picture with Corey and my dad gave him a hockey stick so they knew of each other. So I said, “Dad, I need your help….Corey said no to me and I just thought maybe you could do something for me”. I just need one chance and I need him to hear me out and play him one song. My dad called him up and said to him, “I need to know the truth – can my son actually do this?” Corey said okay so I got a ticket and flew to the Bahamas and met up with him. I started playing and as soon as I opened my mouth he got up and started pacing around the room. In my head I’m thinking it’s over and I’m going home. I kept playing and when I was done, Corey sat back down and said welcome to Siena Records!