Interview – Hey Romeo

By: Heather Young

Hey Romeo is composed of Stacie Roper (vocals), Rob Shapiro (keyboards) and Darren Gusnowsky (guitar). Since bursting onto the Canadian Country music scene in 2002 they have earned their place as one of Canada’s hardest working bands. With ten Canadian Country Music Award nominations, including two wins for Group/duo of the year (2011-2012), and one for New Talent of the Year (2008), Its no wonder the industry is
buzzing about their new single release “I Got This”. We got a chance to catch up to vocalist, Stacie Roper to chat about the single and the bands adventures so far.

What was it like co-writing with someone like Clay Mills?

Writing with Clay is always great. He’s a fabulous host with impressive BBQ skills. And then on top of that he is a ridiculously talented singer, songwriter, guitar player and producer. He always takes the time to write with us when we are in Nashville and ends up teaching us something new about the business.

Where do you find the most inspiration for writing?

Inspiration for my favorite songs that we have written come through my own personal life experiences. When you write what you know, a song tends to just flow and come together quite quickly.

“I Got This” is about turning a significant other’s day around. How do you turn your own bad days around?

I usually hit the trails on my bike and just breath in a little nature. This tends to take away any negative energy and thoughts. Gets a little tricky in the Canadian winters, so I tend to just go for a walk in the snow.

We all have those moments of telling ourselves “I got this” What was your last “I got this” moment?

We have been recording our new EP and it’s always a bit stressful thinking that whatever you record will be put down for all time, and I was by myself without Rob and Darren there for input. I just told myself, You Got This and I had it and it was awesome!!

You have collaborated with many talented writers. If you could write with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

Quoting Little Big Town, I have “Girl Crush” on Brandy Clark right now. Her writing is so impressive and thought provoking and I find she takes those intimate moments that women feel and somehow finds the exact right words to express those thoughts. I would love to meet her and write with her one day.

You have been known for amazing live covers. What is your favorite song to cover?

I think my favorite cover that we play right now is Crosby, Stills and Nash – Helplessly Hoping. It really showcases our harmonies and brings us together as a trio.

You have toured with an impressive list of artists. You must have a collection of road stories. Can you share one that sticks out in your mind?

Oh there are so many. The guys would kill me if I told the story about the cat that snuck into my hotel room and pooped all over my floor, the very first gig we played together. So I won’t tell that one… I think the one that stands out the most to me is when we were on tour with Deric Ruttan, we were playing in Parry Sound, ON and my grandfather, who I was so close with passed away that day. I remember trying to get ready for the show and crying, then fixing my make up and then crying and then fixing it again, and we had 5 min to show and I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to go on stage. Then Darren and Rob came through with their humor, charm and compassion and made sure I knew that I wasn’t going to be alone up there, that they would be there on stage with me to help me get through it. We sang a song for Rob’s dad and my grandfather that night and it was like they were there with us. I will never forget after the show how many people who we had
never met came up to us just to pass along their condolences and share their own stories of loved ones that have passed. It made me feel like although I was not with my family at home, I had my own family with the Rob and Darren, with Deric and his guys, and all the fans in Parry Sound that night.

You career has been full of major highlights. What has been this biggest highlight for you guys personally?

I love performing live and every show is a highlight but I would honestly have to say it was winning the CCMA for Group of the year in 2011. It was the moment that I had dreamt of since I was a little girl and when it happened it was the most surprising, emotional, incredible experience ever. (especially since Howie D from the Backstreet Boys..sigh… and Victoria Banks presented us with the award)

Here at Canadian Beats we like to include a just for “fun” portion to help your fans get to know something new about you. Ready?!

What was the first album you ever owned?

I am going to date myself here— Mini Pops: Record, Twister Sister: Cassette

Music is an obvious talent, but do you have any unusual talents you would like to share?

My Halloween Pumpkin carving Skills are pretty impressive and I am also a fairly decent designer of Ukranian Easter Eggs.

What is your go to patio drink?

Anything with Tequila in it, not too fussy. As long as there is sun, music friends and a patio.

After maybe a couple of those patio drinks, what is your favorite karaoke song?

I love anything 80’s. But I am one of those people that needs the catalogue all night to look through. I can never decide.

And last but not least, Anything you would like to say to your fans?

We could never do this without having people out there that listen to our music and come and watch us play. I cannot even express how much it moves me when I see people in the audience that come out time and time again to our shows or see brand new fans appreciating the music. You are our family when we are on the road and you give us the strength and motivation to keep driving down that highway to the next town. We
are incredibly lucky to have found each other in this band and we hope that we can continue to make music that will bring you all out to see us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. See you soon.

Connect with Hey Romeo:

“I Got This” Lyric Video:

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