Connect with us

People

Profile: Peejay Stanley says farewell to Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: For half a decade Texan soul singer Peejay Stanley has been entertaining Phuketians with a larger than life stage presence guaranteed to get audiences on their feet.

Peejay’s singing style has been described as similar to Joan Armatrading, Tracy Chapman and Nina Simone, but she is probably best described as a motown, soul and blues artist with a voice like Gladys Knight.

Peejay and her husband, also an American, arrived with plans to settle as permanent expats in Phuket. Last week, however, the island’s best-known soul sister put on a farewell performance ahead of her departure for greener pastures in June.

Peejay first came to Phuket in January 2011 to explore the possibilities of live music. She and her husband; a teacher at an international school, had been living in Saigon, Vietnam and both were looking for something new.

“There’s no really good live music possibilities in Saigon. They are into deejays and electronic music but there’s no place for live music as there are not many expat musicians.”

Peejay threw herself with gusto into her Phuket project. She quickly became acquainted with established musicians and music producers on the island, arranging jam sessions and exploring openings for live music at resorts. Her professionalism has been a large part of her success, tackling the music scene with a unique blend of business acumen, determination and a bubbly, contagious smile.

“It’s been fantastic. Not only are there a lot of expat musicians, they get the music I do. Like motown, the Beatles, the sixties thing…”

When she arrived, Peejay made a beeline for Phuket’s best-known music venues and producers – Music Matters bar, Colin ‘Illy’ Hill, Patrick Chua from Rockin’ Angels Blues Cafe and Legend Music’s producer Gary Crause – and soon found her niche as a crowd-pulling diva.

“The hoteliers I met with also understood the value of live music, and had budgets for it, so that was the beginning of my live singing in Phuket.”

Peejay did everything by the book from day one but five years on and the legislation of staying legit has become ‘more of a pain’, hence her and her husband’s joint decision to move on, despite wishing they could stay.

“It’s getting harder to stay. Every time I renew my visa there are changes and new rules to follow that are new to the lawyers and accountants as well. Those changes cost money; 6,000 baht here, another 30,000 baht there. The money I do make has to go out to a lot of other people but it keeps getting eaten up… There’s always something new to be booked for.”

“We are going to miss Phuket a lot – the food vendors, the dogs, the smiles – but I need to go some place where I feel wanted. That shows up in [a country’s] legislation, when for example, you can buy property.

Peejay’s final performance on the island was a farewell do at Bliss Beach Club, which turned into a jam session as local musicians took the opportunity to join Peejay on stage one last time.

But the music doesn’t stop there. For the past few months, Peejay and her band have been working with Phuket-based music producer Gary Crause (Phuket Academy of Performing Arts) to lay down tracks for 90 songs that Peejay can take with her and use as unique and original backing tracks for future live performances. Some of the songs have been turned into music videos and CD albums.

— Nick Davies

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand34 mins ago

Expats in Thailand, Cartoon characters & Letting Loose | Thaiger Bites

Pattaya41 mins ago

VIDEO: Young Thais have a blast at Pattaya Music Festival weekend 2

Pollution2 hours ago

Anti-Corruption Network complains of smelly wastewater in coastal Thai province

Weather2 hours ago

Flooding from overflowing rivers soaks Chiang Rai and the border

Phuket3 hours ago

Phuket police nab 3,373 meth pills from 5 suspects

Pattaya5 hours ago

Pattaya night club owner gives free meals on Thai Mother’s Day

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand6 hours ago

Current Thailand Visa Options for Digital Nomads

Central Thailand6 hours ago

Police find fake Covid-19 tests worth millions in central Thailand

World7 hours ago

UPDATE: Rushdie is talking again, attacker pleads not guilty

Crime9 hours ago

Thief caught after showing off on TikTok the money he “earned”

Road deaths21 hours ago

Singaporean car driver dead, 7 injured in Phuket crash with bus

Thailand21 hours ago

FDA says Thailand unaffected by contaminated Haagen-Dazs

Crime23 hours ago

Foreign parrotfisher in Krabi says he’s sorry

Chon Buri23 hours ago

17 year old the 18th victim of Mountain B fire, 27 still in hospital

Economy24 hours ago

After poor South Koreans die in flooded basement home, will there be change?

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending