Big City: Ken Roy
Ken Roy at the Goorin Bros Hat Shop Clayton Green Hat / $60
The country singer that's redefining a genre — how Ken Roy uses his strong work ethic to fuel his passion.
By the time I arrive at downtown Savannah’s American Legion Post #135 on the southern end of Forsyth Park, Ken Roy is waiting for me at a corner table in the cozy, old-fashioned bar of this legitimately historic yellow brick building (it’s actually the birthplace of the famed Mighty Eighth Air Force). He’d arrived for our meeting 15 minutes earlier than initially planned after texting me to ask if we could bump up our interview. “I just have a lot of things to do today,” he’d written. I grab a beer and he politely declines.
Tall and lanky, with a muscular build and an easy smile that balances out his piercing stare, this aspiring country singer-songwriter and guitarist from Ormond Beach, Florida is clearly a driven and ambitious fellow. In the days surrounding our chat, he’d travel to such far off music-industry hubs as Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee — but not to perform live or record his commercially oriented modern C&W tunes. Rather, his current role as the senior sales executive with a locally based, nationally known shipping and order fulfillment company keeps him on the road quite a bit. It’s that day job which brought him to Savannah in the first place, but according to Roy, all that is about to change.
“In the middle of 2018, I started to feel like I should concentrate on my music career full time,” he recalls. “I could tell it was starting to affect my work, and instead of denying it, I told my bosses I didn’t think it was fair for their lead salesperson to put his passion into something other than their company.” According to Roy, his superiors appreciated this candor, and it’s likely that by the time this profile appears in print he’ll have transitioned into a different position with the same firm — one that will allow him to work from home, or while on the road playing music.
That home, by the way, will soon be in Nashville, as Roy has plans to relocate to the country music capital of the world by the end of this year. “That’s the hub,” he explains. “I’m not moving there to play gigs, necessarily, but for the people there. If you’re a songwriter who wants to write with other good songwriters, you need to go to Nashville. I can still play shows in Georgia and Florida on weekends to build my name up, but I want to collaborate and connect with more established artists and industry people on the weekdays.”