After shining in the top six of THE NEXT STAR’s third season, Victoria Duffield is still staying in the spotlight. She released her first hit single and music video for “Shut Up And Dance” earlier this year, and she’s just put her new holiday remake of her favourite Christmas song, “Last Christmas”, on iTunes. She’s also working on the release of her next single to be released in the New Year, among other hits!
Here’s what the up-and-coming pop star had to say about singing, dancing, life after THE NEXT STAR, and saying “shut up” around her parents…
Your video for “Shut Up and Dance” is out now, how does it feel to have it out?
It’s really exciting; I mean, it’s so much fun to shoot! Definitely very exciting getting to work with Luther Brown and all these accomplished dancers from So You Think You Can Dance Canada—and I had been watching that season so it’s cool to have some of them from there. That experience was great, and getting it out there in public and it having so many views already. It’s exciting, with my branding as an artist, dancer, singer—there’s a hole right now, in the industry, that I’m there to fill.
What are you working on right now?
Right now we’re getting ready to release the second single, but I have been doing lots of writing and recording back in Vancouver and here in Toronto, so working on what the next song will be and then working on releasing the album soon.
Growing up, you weren’t allowed to say the words “shut up” in your household. How do your parents feel now that they’re in the title of your song?
(Laughs) Yeah, actually, I haven’t talked about this in an interview yet, but when I was younger, the words “shut up”, and calling someone an idiot—those were the swear words, I mean, you just didn’t use them. And it was enough that my parents told me not to, and I would never want to disobey them, so whenever I heard other people say it, I thought, “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe they’re saying that!” So yeah, it is kind of an ironic coincidence that my first single has the words “shut up” in it, but over these past couple of years, I will admit I have been using those words. (Laughs)
So you were an actress before you started singing, and you were a dancer… do you have a preference as to which one you like doing more?
I started dancing when I was 2, singing came with dancing at age 7, and then I started acting around age 7 as well. I mean, singing and the whole performance-based thing is what I am pushing, but I definitely want to keep doing acting on the side. My focus will be as a pop artist but I want to continue my acting training as well, and hopefully film feature movies or have my own TV show—that would be a dream as well.
You mentioned before that you write songs—can you tell me a little about your process for song writing?
Song writing is something I’ve been doing more and more often now with these new singles. I did some writing before when I was signed with Warner, but now I’ve been co-writing songs with a bunch of people, and it’s neat to see all the different angles that people approach them from. You can come up with a line or a slight melody or your chorus idea, and either choose to go with melody or lyrics…it kind of depends on the writer I’m working with, and we just form something around that.
Now that you’re kind of doing your own thing, how much does your training from THE NEXT STAR apply to your life now?
I went into THE NEXT STAR having a bunch of training, so what I am thankful for with THE NEXT STAR is the experience, and meeting people who helped me get where I am today and having the great family of the top 6—we’re also tight friends. All the experiences kind of came together unexpectedly but they worked.
You’re getting a lot of comparisons to Britney Spears on your YouTube page, how does that make you feel?
That is a huge compliment, because growing up, Britney Spears was my main influence and just seeing her as an artist, being a singer/dancer, was something I thought was amazing. That’s what I’m bringing as an artist. So I take it all as a compliment and I think it’s sort of funny that people think I look like her. It’s flattering; I take it as all the good stuff.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
Hmm…there are a lot of different artists; I mean, it usually works best to collaborate with someone of the same genre, so getting to write with Britney would be amazing. It would be interesting to work with Selena or maybe Justin, just someone in the same age group would be cool as well.
How do you find time to keep up in school? You have a basically perfect average, so how do you manage to balance all that?
Well, everything I do, I just put all of myself into it, because I just can’t not give 100% for everything I do. It’s just part of who I am. I just kind of make it work…I don’t sleep much! (Laughs) Keeping up with school and getting good grades is very important to me, so I work hard at it. It doesn’t all come easy, too, it’s not like I don’t work at it. It takes work. And when I’m away I just work ahead or catch up when I’m back.
How did your family and friends first react to the video when they first saw it?
Um, I think some of them were kind of…surprised that I really wanted to do this. TO a lot of them, I’m just their friend, so they didn’t realize before that I was actually doing this. But both them and my family are so supportive and great, and are always there for me, so it’s definitely a great environment for me. Some of them were amazed and some were just shocked that I was really doing this! (Laughs)
When you look at your first video, “Fever,” that you did on The Next Star, and “Shut Up and Dance”—what’s the biggest difference you see in yourself as a performer?
Well, I had actually done a small music video before “Fever” as well, so I had the experience. From the difference of those, I think it was more what I really wanted to do, just because with The Next Star, we were given controls for what we could show in the video. When I improvised with tricks in the dance-of, they didn’t put those in, so with the new video, I can really express myself and put what I want into it, which is pretty cool.
Thank you, Victoria Duffield! For more news and info on Victoria, check out her website, victoriaduffield.com!