By Mike Shomaker, DC Music Live
Here in the U.S., it’s easy to take for granted the accessibility of rock music; there seem to be as many venues as there are McDonald’s. Every month, dozens of bands put out new records for our ADD ears. For the avid fan, the omnipresence of rock can be overwhelming at times. But imagine living in a country where rock seemed like a distant dream in a faraway place, where rock isn’t as popular as Cheerios. For Russia’s reality talent, Troy Harley, coming to the Land of Opportunity has finally allowed him to unleash the inner rocker. DC Music Live had the pleasure of talking with Harley last week.
It was on “Star Factory,” Russia’s version of “American Idol,” in 2010 where Harley and his band Chelsea first gained nationwide attention. From there, the rock outfit toured across Russia gathering a wealth of loyal supporters.
“We started off playing pop songs. Not like boy band stuff but, just pop. And I wanted to play rock. I grew up listening to [rock.] That’s the kind of music I felt like I should be making,” Harley said.
In a leap of faith, Harley moved to Los Angeles earlier this year to take a shot at making rock music. Harley describes a classic rock influence base—his voice having been compared to the likes of Bon Jovi. Harley’s goal though is not to copy the classic legends he grew up with.
“You know, classic rock is already out there. I want to take that and make it modern, put my own spin on it,” he said.
In LA, Harley was introduced to former American Idol judge Randy Jackson through a Russian-based music group that had been following his career. Impressed by Harley’s vocal range, Jackson signed him to his indie label Dream Merchant 21.
“Working with Randy has been great. He’s a great guy and very supportive. I am fortunate to be working with him,” Harley said.
So far, the move has seemed to pay off. Harley played Warped Tour (RELATED STORIES: Vans Warped Makes A Stop At Merriweather) this summer and will be working on an album with Jackson this fall.
“At the beginning [of Warped Tour], there weren’t as many people watching, but now I see the crowds growing and it makes me feel good. It’s been great,” Harley said.
Go check out the Russian rock star on his YouTube channel. You can download a copy of his single, “End of Summer,” there.