Troy Harley (born Roman Arkhipov) amassed no small measure of fame in his native Russia. He appeared on two seasons of an extremely popular TV talent competition, sold out tour dates throughout Europe and Asia, played with many of his idols and won several prestigious awards. For most performers, that would be the fulfillment of their dreams. For Troy, however, the reality wasn’t what he wanted. Growing up post-Cold War in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, he fed himself on a steady diet of American and British rock and roll, wanting to be the frontman of a seminal rock act. When he looked in the mirror, he dreamt of being on stage with Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and AC/DC. So, listening to the kid inside of him, he turned his back on his homeland celebrity and moved away to form and front his own rock band in a place where he could start fresh: Los Angeles.
Troy’s road to America began with music veterans Oleg Shmelev and Julia Kurbatova (of JK Music Group). The pair had been extremely impressed with him since watching him perform with the Scorpions on Russian television. His amazing vocal range and powerful delivery convinced them to sign the singer—then still known as Roman—to their company. Once they heard his thoughts for his musical direction and future plans, JK arranged a meeting with musician/TV and record producer/entrepreneur/American Idol judge Randy Jackson. Equally electrified by his magnetism and the unique timbre of his voice, Randy decided to sign him to his indie record label Friendship Collective. Among the first items on the “to do” list was to choose a moniker that would be more easily pronounced by English-speaking tongues -- and so Roman Arkhipov became Troy Harley. The next item was to get Troy into a studio.
Troy’s first commercially released song, “End of Summer,” was recorded at Henson Studios (formally A&M Studios). The historic atmosphere of the site was not lost on Troy -- recording in the same studio where John Lennon, The Doors, Joe Cocker, Pink Floyd, Metallica, U2 and Bon Jovi had once laid down tracks brought out the best of his vocal performance. The resulting Randy Jackson-produced song, which dropped worldwide in July 2012, is an anthemic rallying cry for having a good time while you can.
With a multi-national band (Russian, American and Australian players) assembled for the occasion, the summer of 2012 found Troy seeing America from Warped Tour stages throughout the East Coast, South, Midwest and Canada…and all of it proved a bit of a culture-shock for Troy. It wasn’t just the bizarre truck stops, or lining up for backstage showers in previously unheard of towns like Burgettstown or Shakopee; the real amazement was that fans of many genres could come to the same show and appreciate so many different types of music. The band’s Warped Tour experiences are documented in scenes from the road in the video for “End of Summer.”
Upon his return to Los Angeles, Troy and the band—Eric Scullin (U.S., keys and guitar), Mike Avenaim (Australia, drums), Derek Frank (U.S., bass), and friend from Russia, Sasha Afanasov (guitar)—began writing new tracks for a longer set for upcoming tour dates and a planned spring 2013 album release. The new songs are influenced heavily by the key observation Troy made when on the Warped Tour: that music is music and he can meld his pop experience with his rock dreams. Lyrically, the new songs show how universal life experiences can be. Tracks like “Generation 21” explore how each new age group must push against the rules set by the previous one, stepping out to make the world their own. Removing the lens of politics and forgetting the changes seen in Russia during his lifetime, Troy’s song topics resonate with fans from any culture. Issues between parents and children are covered in the new material, as well as the dynamics of interpersonal relationships between men and women, which are encapsulated on songs like “The First Day” and “From This Love.”
At the end of October 2012, Troy returned to Russia for the first time since the days when he was known there as Roman Arkhipov. Anxious at first about how fans in his homeland would react to his new sound, he debuted his new band with shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as a date in Belarus, supporting Nickelback. Besides having a blast showing off his home turf to his band and tour-mates, the trip was a true success, as Troy returned with a feeling that he is now truly expressing his own artistic vision—and it’s resonating with fans wherever he calls home.
On November 6, 2012, Troy’s first official single “Someone Like Me” was made available for purchase at online retailers. A real feel-good pop/rock song, the track was co-written by Rune Goldberg (Adam Lambert, Daughtry, Kris Allen) and Zac Maloy (Carrie Underwood, Our Lady Peace, Hanson, Chris Daughtry), who also co-penned “End of Summer.” “Someone Like Me” was recorded at Henson Studios with Grammy-winner Randy Jackson once again at the board. With a verse that showcases Troy’s exceptional voice, plus a catchy chorus chock full of “whoa-oh-oooh”-laden ear-candy, the track is certain to make fans of listeners coast-to-coast.