Connect with us


Profile: Peejay Stanley says farewell to Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Thai Red Cross order of 5 million Moderna vaccines in proccess

Bangkok2 hours ago

Peaceful pro-democracy protests in Bangkok by Taloo-Fah

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Kanchanaburi prison builds field hospital for 379 Covid-19 cases

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Covid-19 train sends 1,490 infected from Bangkok to hometowns

Thailand6 hours ago

Covid-19 Poll: People trust doctors, social media, 85% confused.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Record high as Chon Buri hits nearly 800 Covid-19 infections

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Covid outbreak closes Nakhon Si Thammarat rubberwood processing factory

Thailand10 hours ago

Nearly 600 temples now offering free cremation services

Thailand11 hours ago

Phetchabun chicken processing plant sees over 3,000 infections

Phuket11 hours ago

New Covid-19 infections drop, still worrisome for Phuket Sandbox

Phuket11 hours ago

Phuket “car mob” protest demands the removal of PM, calls for mRNA vaccines

Thailand12 hours ago

Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak offers to resign if communication in his province doesn’t improve

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 15,335 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 15,335 new infections, provincial numbers

Coronavirus Infections13 hours ago

DDC says infections still rising, possibly falling in Bangkok

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8