The day Jonathan Roy chose music over hockey
One day, Jonathan Roy took his courage in both hands. He went to sit in his head coach's office at the Quebec Remparts, who is also his dad and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, to tell him that his dream was not to become an NHL goaltender, but to make music.
He was nervous and that's understandable. When you wear the pads on the most followed junior team in Canada, consider telling Patrick Roy that his son will not follow in his glorious footsteps, it certainly comes with a few sleepless nights.
“I was a little embarrassed, tells the Journal Jonathan Roy, nearly 15 years later. I didn't want my dad to be disappointed that I didn't play hockey.
Besides, it's not like he felt obligated by family tradition to play hockey. It was his choice. He loved it.
“When I was 13, my mother saw that I liked music and she bought me a small piano with a guitar and drums. I had started taking lessons. Eventually, hockey took up a lot of space and I really liked it. I was passionate about hockey. My father was my idol. What I felt when I went to the arena to watch his games was indescribable. I wanted to live what he was going through.
“Are you sick, man…”
Nevertheless, at the end of the 2008-2009 season for the Remparts, Jonathan Roy made the most important decision of his life and he had to tell his father.
He was apprehensive about his reaction. Wrongly.
“I said: dad, I want to make music. He looked at me and said, “You're sick, man, you're going back to school.” As much as his first reaction was to think it was crazy for me to go into this, towards the end of the discussion he said: I'll let you go, as long as you're happy, kid, that's what's important. »
Looking back, Jonathan Roy realizes that it was finally admitting to himself that he wanted to try his luck in music that was “the most stressful”.
Jonathan Roy's transition to the music industry obviously made headlines, especially as he quickly made his mark in the major leagues of show business by pulling off a few good shots.
After releasing three albums in both official languages between 2009 and 2011, one of which featured a duet with singer Natasha St-Pier, he landed one of the lead roles in the musical show Don Juan, alongside Jean-François Breau and Marie-Ève Janvier.
Through his father, Jonathan Roy then met Corey Hart, who took him under his wing. The young man joined the label of the star of the 1980s, Siena Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music.
It was Corey Hart who laid Daniella Denmark , his great radio success, in 2017. Jonathan Roy was on his way to glory and was aiming high.
Too high, he says today.
Once again, he let himself be caught up in his desire to match his father's unparalleled performance, even in the artistic field.
“I have seen him do such extraordinary things during his career that I said to myself: screw up, that's what I have to do, succeed in doing what he did. »
It was two of Canada's biggest music stars who brought him back to earth.< /p>
“I remember having a discussion with Shania Twain and Corey Hart in the Bahamas. I can't remember the number, but she told me that one person out of maybe 10 million succeeds in music. So, just living well from it is already an incredible success. As long as you have a roof over your head, that you can eat and sleep well…”
A long process of “mental deconstruction” then made him realize that he was already doing very well even if his songs weren't amassing astronomical ratings, like the Taylor Swifts and Ed Sheerans of this world, on online platforms.
Despite the doubts that have arisen along the way, Jonathan Roy is now congratulating himself on having “jumped into the void” 15 years ago in his father's office at the Colisée in Quebec City.
< p>“I don't want regrets in my life. Regrets are shit. Life is too short to miss something. You have to live things even if you can be disappointed. It's part of the experience. »
“It all really started when I went on an ayahuasca trip…”
Jonathan Roy doesn't hide. In all the interviews he gives as part of the promotional tour for his new album, Life Distorsions, he talks about the consumption of this plant from the Amazon with hallucinogenic properties as the starting point of the creation of his new songs.
One of the eight tracks on the album is titled Ayahuasca.
“I'm not saying it's for everyone, but personally, it opened my eyes to life, to myself. I just started writing and when you listen to the album you hear the psychedelic alternative pop sound with lyrics that revolve around my relationship with love. »
In short, it's rather peace and love, his thing.
To the rather languorous melody of Stay In Bed and Fuck ( While The World Burns), the artist, who will turn 34 in March, even suggests staying in bed and having sex while everything is going to hell on the planet.
“It may sound cliché, but love is the only reason we're here”, claims Jonathan Roy, switching from French to English as he often does during his discussion with Le Journal.
“The planet is big”
If he has revised his expectations downwards in recent years in relation to what he considers to be a successful career, Jonathan Roy still remains attracted to foreign scenes.
Interspersed between two series of show dates in Quebec that will keep him busy throughout 2023, we therefore find in his agenda a spring tour of 11 concerts in 11 cities in 11 European countries.
“We are quietly trying to build an audience outside of Quebec. Honestly, I don't think any further than that. It is certain that if I sing in English and that I have an opportunity to leave Quebec, it is part of my ultimate goals to be able to leave, travel and at the same time play my music. It's a dream come true”, shares Jonathan Roy.
As if he was trying to convince himself not to be afraid to dream by answering our questions , the more he talks about it, the more he gets carried away.
“I'm very nervous, Ced, he finally escapes, addressing his interlocutor. It's emotional for me, a little guy from Quebec. T’sé, the planet is big and your music plays in Prague, in Italy, in Portugal. It's crazy, it's surreal.
For a guy who once wanted to be a hockey player like his dad, it's like winning his own Stanley Cup.
Jonathan Roy launched his album on Friday at the MTelus in Montreal. All tickets for his concerts at L'Étoile in Brossard on February 18 and at the Impérial Bell in Quebec City on March 24 are sold out. For all other dates, go to jonathanroyofficial.com.