Singer Roy English Is Kinda Like The Real Life Version Of Ryan From ‘The OC’
You can’t judge vocalist and songwriter Roy English just based off what he looks like. Just like legendary TV show character Ryan Atwood, this blonde and muscular Orange County native is surprisingly down to earth, easy-going, and used to getting robbed.
“My house got broken into a bunch,” he told me. “I remember being so bummed when my television got stolen. Like I remember specifically when my friends were talking about watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I was like, oh, yeah, I love ninja turtles too, but I was so sad to not be able to watch it.”
Isn’t that kind of adorable? These days, you can find Roy working with various EDM heavyweights, including David Guetta and Calvin Harris; he also wrote the song “Cool” with the well-known Swedish producer and DJ, Alesso.
He just put out a new album, so get to know him through our interview below, and listen to “I’m Not Here,” in full on Spotify.
How’s your week been going?
It’s been awesome. We had a party at my house for July 4th, which was pretty lowkey but also a lot of fun.
Do you often have parties at your house?
Every once in a while. I’m not really into cleaning up.
Are you a messy guy?
My room is so messy, but I don’t clean it at all.
I recently wrote a story about how people who are messy are supposedly more creative and intelligent.
Is that a real thing? Because when I was younger, my room was spotless, like to the point of being OCD, and then when I started playing music, and fostering that side of my brain, I started getting messier and messier.
Yeah, that’s what they say. That people who are messy tend to be more creative, less interested in adhering to the status qu0, or whatever.
That’s interesting. I don’t think it’s a conscious decision though. I like when things are clean, but I’ll throw things around looking for things.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Orange County, and then moved to Los Angeles.
Oh man, I love “The OC.” What’s it like? Is it like the show?
I’ve never really watched the show, so I actually can’t compare it, but I also didn’t grow up in a nice part of “The OC.”
Do you remember the first time you performed?
I don’t know if I even do! But also, growing up, I couldn’t sing to save my existence. Like, I had a terrible voice. I remember one time I performed at school, and I was just belting away at a song, because back then I thought the louder I sang, the closer I’d be to the note. All the older kids in high school were even just like, this is awful. But then there was this one dude who listened to me perform, and he was like, that was so cool of you! He ended up being my best friend, and we ended up starting a band together.
That’s fun, where would you play?
We’d play literally anywhere we could. Even pep rallies. But it was so bad. Finally, towards the end of my senior year, I figured I should practice singing.
So you had to work at singing?
Yeah, I had no natural abilities. Even now, when I write a song, I can’t just sing it really well. I have to learn it, and then I have to practice it.
Oh, that’s interesting. So you’ve always had to work hard with your music.
Yeah, absolutely. And because of my personal experience, I just know that if you want to do something, you can do it. Even something that seems as crazy as music. At the end of the day, it’s just music.
It’s weird how people who are talented at a young age can often just coast off that, and then when we all grow up, it’s the kids who learned how to work hard that end up getting ahead.
Yeah, it is kind of funny. All the kids who were playing in bands, or really good at playing guitar had been like, it’s not going to be you to actually do music, but now none of them even play music.
How did you keep yourself motivated?
I didn’t really fit in necessarily, so focusing on that helped me figure out my own voice in terms of learning how to say what I wanted to say. I was like, if I don’t do this, there isn’t anything else I can do. So I kind of feel like I had to. If you have a bunch of shitty tattoos, you’re stuck with them. Same with a shitty music career.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t playing music?
You know, I really don’t know. When I finished high school, I had this girlfriend at the time who moved to Idaho, and was going to open up a Pizza Hut. I was considering moving out to Idaho with her, and while I was thinking about it one night, I said a prayer that night, and I was like God, if you want me to do music, help me out. The next day, I got a call from this guy who’s an amazing producer, and he was like, come into the studio, I’ve heard your work, and think it’s really great! And that changed my life. So I’m glad I didn’t go to Idaho [laughing].