Music, // May 6, 2020
Jessica Victoria — MUSIC
Interview with singer and songwriter Jessica Victoria —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Jessica Victoria – Singer-Songwriter, 21st century bard.
2. Why music?
I make music to bring hope. I want my songs to be strength for the journey. Song is the thread that connects the head and the heart. In a world of ever-increasing specialization, we need this connection more than ever.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be involved in music?
Perhaps my earliest memory of music-making is a three-year-old me sitting with my uncle at my grandmother’s piano learning a simple song: “Do re mi, do re mi, re do re mi do do.” I loved that piano!
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
I love swirling genres together, sometimes within the same song, sometimes within a bigger project, to tell stories. I draw inspiration for these stories from literature, from life experiences, and from nature. If I had to categorize my genre, it would be Celtic fusion.
5. How do you work and approach a new piece that you are working on?
My songs are my babies. Sometimes, a song begins with a fragment of melody, sometimes with a lyric. In its first stages of development, I usually find inspiration at my harp, Merlin. Once the song has a little more shape, I take it to Logic Pro, where I experiment with sounds and rhythmic patterns. Then, I lay down a scratch vocal track against this instrumental outline. Little by little, or sometimes quicker than I imagine, the song continues to grow in its own reality, its own life. It lets me know what it needs. After the song has grown enough, I play it for people, so that I can get ideas and suggestions. As I tend to forget sometimes, I am not my audience. It’s important to step back and let the baby song try its independence. Then, I can help it change and grow so that it can finally be on its own in the world.
6. What are your favorite musician(s), singer(s)?
There are so many! I admire Rhiannon Giddens very much, as she has shaped her own musical identity that embraces diverse genres as I strive to do. When I first heard Loreena McKennitt’s rendering of Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott,” I knew I wanted, like her, to tell stories through music. I avidly listened to any album of hers that I could find, marveling at the versatility of her musical language and power to weave it with words to create magic. Probably the first musical artist to influence me was Jeff Wayne through his musical retelling of “The War of the Worlds.” The music made the story come to life for me!
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
It’s hard to answer this question. Each performance where my music touches people brings me joy.
8. What do you like about your work?
I love getting to meet so many beautiful people, both collaborators and listeners. I love getting to see the world and getting to perform in so many lovely places. I love knowing that what I do can make a positive difference in people’s lives.
9. What advice would you give to other musicians?
Find your unique voice and hone your craft.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
In five to ten years, I see myself busily touring, writing, and collaborating with other musicians. I will be working on another exciting new project to share with listeners worldwide.
Lisa Freeman is an Arts Illustrated’s Correspondent, representing the United Kingdom.
Lisa is also a Public Relations Director for – Quite Great PR & Marketing in Cambridge.