Stanley Roy's on Uke, Beyonce's on Watch!

The GayPlace talks trash with soulful uke songster.

Stanley makes it count. Always!
Stanley makes it count. Always! (by Devaki Knowles)

Speaking of Ukes… What happens when we have a tête-à-tête with our favorite local ukulele player? Um, magic. Magic happens. Witness and testify.

Austin Chronicle: So tell me about your uke. How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight? Or one of those one-night-stand-turned-relationship things?

Stanley Roy: My friend Rio, who was in The Heart Project with me, she used to sing a couple ukelele songs during our sets. One day she let me borrow one of her ukeleles, and I started playing on it and quickly figured it out. I immediately wrote a song that… I don’t play anymore.

AC: What was the song about?

SR: Love.

AC: Whatever!

SR: "Hair From the Dog That Bit Me" was the title, it was some cheesy love metaphor.

AC: So it wasn’t love at first sight or a one-night-stand, you stole your best friend’s uke? That's low.

SR: Well, I borrowed it for a while and then she asked for it back. At that point I went and bought a $30 ukelele. At that time I would walk to work jamming to Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” – and I loved it, but I thought it was over-produced, and I just sat down one night and re-interpreted that.

AC: So this brings up the question, do you like to rock it hard or stroke it gently?

SR: I like to rock it hard, but I often stroke it gently, probably more often than I rock it hard.

AC: Would you consider doing a duet with Mariah Carey or Beyonce Knowles?

SR: Yeah. Wait, do I have to choose?

AC: Is that like Sophie’s Choice for you?

SR: Basically. If I had to choose it would be Beyonce; Mariah would be crazy. But actually Solange is my jam these days.

AC: Analogy time: Guitar:Rock::Uke:______?

SR: Soul. The Uke has made me feel more soulful as a performer.

AC: What’s your favorite chord on the ukelele?

SR: Gmaj7. That’s the spot. The Gmaj7 Spot.

AC: You get tender onstage sometimes – is that intentional? Or does it just come out that way?

SR: A little bit of both. Sometimes it’s something I know is going to happen, but other times it’s a surprise. Especially at the end of songs, I just click, and suddenly I’m doing something I’ve never done. I have to push myself on recordings. I’m definitely different, when I’m by myself I’m more about lyrics, and playing of actual instrument. I save the emoting.

AC: You’ve been in Austin for awhile doing various and sundry things, do you get recognized on the street?

SR: Yeah. I mean it’s not like a daily occurrence. Especially at Lucy In Disguise where I work, I get recognized. I would say it’s been happening more, since I started to invest more heart, soul, blood, and tears into the Fantasy persona. Yet, I still get more recognition from Little Stolen Moments. I’ve definitely had boyfriends who hated that.

AC: What earnest advice would you give to a young uke-player starting out?

SR: The only thing you have to do is learn three chords and learn or write a song with those three or four. The rest is repetition, doing it over and over again, until it’s body memory.

AC: Now, what subterfuge advice would you give a young uke-player, to ensure that they never steal your throne, Showgirls-style

SR: Try playing with no strings – it’s actually better if you don’t have strings. It’s like The Music Man. Just sing it, you don’t have to play. It’s all in your costume.

Stanley Roy is currently shooting a video for his song “Imaginary Friend”, the title track from his recent EP available for purchase via CD Baby.

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Music, Stanley Roy, LGBTQ Uke, Beyonce, Solange Knowles, Little Stolen Moments, Fantasy!, Mariah Carey, Imaginary Friend, uke, ukelele, Lucy in Disguise

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