Hailing from Yellowknife, N.T. in the Canadian arctic, Roya is a vocalist, songwriter and Mbira player who graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary from MacEwan University.
Some of her earliest musical memories are the sounds of her father’s voice in song, chanting prayers in his native language, Farsi. A religious refugee from Iran, his voice expressed the longing of an immigrant for his homeland combined with the soul’s desire for connection with the Divine. The haunting melodiousness of his voice captivated Roya from a very young age. Since then, she has been inspired to touch the hearts of her listeners with the deep meaningfulness of music she experienced in those early moments of childhood. There are few words to describe this meaningfulness, and sometimes words are not enough. Roya has the impeccable ability to channel this effective movement through song.
A lover of many different genres and musical traditions, Roya sings in a variety of styles and languages. In addition to the country music group the Ginger and the Snaps, she is the vocalist for the African ensemble Isokan Afrika. In both performance and prose, Roya imbues a mysterious and other worldly feeling into her creations. It is difficult to pin her musical style down to one genre, as it is an intriguing blend of world music forms.