Royston Sta Maria
Sta Maria, born in Malacca City, is a Malaysian singer-songwriter whose
rise in popularity began when he was offered a recording contract with
EMI in the early eighties.
His interest in music started at a very early age and he went on to attend the St. Francis Institution where he obtained a Grade 2 in the Overseas School Certificate and the Malaysian Certificate of Education.
On finishing high school Royston was invited to join his father's band as a bass guitarist and so as a young nineteen year old he began performing nightly at the New Straits View Hotel in Johor Bahru.
After two solid years of working the nightclub scene and gaining invaluable experience in backing numerous floor-show artists Roytson decided to leave for the big smoke and make the move to Kuala Lumpur.
In the Malaysian capital Royston enrolled in a hotel management course and to support himself worked as a waiter in a coffee-house at the Fitzpatrick's building in Jalan Raja Chulan.
His love for music and desire to perform, however, ensured he did not complete the hotel management course and when Royston was asked to join popular local band Electric Organism on a nine month residency at the Tomorrow Disco within the Merlin Hotel, he never looked back.
The venue was at the time one of the most frequented in Kuala Lumpur and the musicians in the band included Fauzi Marzuki, Nasser Abu Kassim, Francis Danker and Radha Krishnan.
The band eventually split up but Royston remained at the Merlin Hotel for a further five years performing with different groups and playing everything from jazz to country music while also accompanying many international floor-show artists.
It was at the Merlin Hotel in the early eighties that Royston met the young and talented vocalist Francissca Peter and from the outset they decided to team up and become the “Sta Maria & Fran” duo.
One evening, while they were performing in the hotel lounge, a Malaysian music producer happened to drop by for supper and, after hearing them sing, offered to sign Royston and Fran on a recording contract with EMI Records.
And so began a successfull recording career with the release of their debut album "Siapa Dia Sebelum Daku" in 1982 followed a year later by a second album titled "Bersama Pertemuan Ini".
It was after the success of this second album that Fran decided to go her own way to pursue a solo career and this decision encouraged Royston to develop his song writing skills and record his own solo albums, the first titled “Berakhir Kemarau Nan Panjang", followed in 1985 by "Perkenalan Pertama".
In the late eighties Royston moved to Perth to be with his family and has since been a popular and regular performer in all the West Australian city’s leading five star venues including the VIP Lounge at the Crown Hotel & Casino and the world renowned Vines Resort & Country Club.
Royston is also currently performing four nights a week at Perth's iconic Miss Mauds Hotel & Restaurant.
Recently he was invited to make a guest appearance at a gala concert by Francissca Peter celebrating her illustrious thirty three years in the music industry in which time she has achieved no less than 20 number one hit songs and been elected Best Female Vocalist in five successive years.
The concert, held at the Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture) which is Malaysia’s main venue for musical and theatre events located in the very heart of Kuala Lumpur, has since inspired Royston to plan for a future recording with Fran in which they again perform all of their classic Malaysian hits.
Along the years Royston has written numerous compositions which have been successfully placed in various music contests such as the Asean Song Festival and the World Peace Song Festival.
A second placing in the Asean Song Festival for the song “Mulanya Di Sini” performed by the band Freedom was subsequently adopted by Malaysia Airlines as their jingle and promotional theme song.
And recently (2015) McDonalds Malaysia launched a new advertising campaign featuring a song composed by Royston some thirty years ago!