Artist Direct Interviews Victoria Justice
Victoria Justice brought her music to life this summer on her first-ever solo jaunt, the "Make It In America" tour.
Justice possesses an impressive voice and a knack for an undeniable hook, and that's why she's become one of pop's most dynamic young voices. Taking the songs from Victorious and performing them live, she's added a whole new element to the experience. However, she's not stopping there. With recording her album on the horizon and a starring role in this fall's Fun Size with Chelsea Handler, we'll be seeing a lot of Miss Justice, and that's rather awesome!
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Victoria Justice opens up about the "Make It In America" tour, her first concert, what's next, and so much more.
What was your vision for "Make It In America" tour?
I wanted to do something everyone can enjoy, not just specifically younger kids. I wanted there to be something in there for the teens and for the adults as well. That's the great thing about the music from Victorious. It's not teeny bopper music. It's not cheesy. I think there are a lot of songs with great messages that have a mature sound. Being 19, I can really connect to the music, and I feel like an audience of all ages can connect to it as well—which is really empowering for me. I wanted there to be something in the show for everyone. I know this is going to be the very first concert for a lot of my fans. I wanted to make it something memorable for them. Between the reveal when I first come on stage and the segment during "Make it in America" when we pass out red, white, and blue beach balls, I wanted to encourage a lot of crowd participation with people cheering and singing with me. It's an all-around good time. I'm having a lot of fun. I'm also doing covers of two of my favorite artists. I'm doing an Amy Winehouse song and a Coldplay song. It's nice to be able to throw a bit of that in there too.
How did you come up with the setlist?
A lot of the songs from the show are really popular with the audience. Because they've been on the television show, the crowd is really familiar with them. They know a lot of the words. I didn't want it to be too fast-paced, but I wanted to keep the energy going without much lag time. There's a ballad in there so we slow it down towards the middle of the set, and I dedicate a song to my mom. There's a lot of energy and a good flow. There's also an encore of two songs. I always want to make sure nobody gets up and leaves before that [Laughs].
What was your first concert?
It was an 'N Sync concert! I'm a '90s baby so I grew up with all of that good pop like Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Spice Girls. I was definitely freaking out when my mom told me we got tickets. It was a last-minute surprise. We had really bad seats [Laughs]. We were all the way in the back in the nosebleed section. I was just so happy to be there. The energy of going to any concert is indescribable. Having so many people together in one area, that enthusiasm is so infectious. It's one of the most amazing feelings.
Even in this day and age where music has become so digital, you can't replace the live experience.
Definitely! There's nothing like it.
What does the song "Make It In America" mean to you?
It's a song I wrote that ended up on the show. It definitely means a lot to me. It's basically about my journey from Hollywood, Florida where I grew up to Hollywood, California where I ended up. It's about following your dreams, working hard, having a passion and a vision, and really going for it. If you work hard, anything is possible. The sky's the limit.
How did the Maroon 5 medley come about?
I've done two videos with Max Schneider and Kurt Schneider who coincidentally have the same last name, but they're not related [Laughs]. Max is my opening act on the tour, and I wanted fans to see our chemistry and get excited to see him perform as well. We did a Bruno Mars medley and the Maroon 5 medley. Both videos are done in one take. It was complicated to achieve for the Bruno Mars medley, and we made it even more complicated for Maroon 5 because that video was a live lyric video. Every single lyric in the song is incorporated through artwork in the house and written on walls. It's crazy. The timing for the video was so specific. We got it done in 11 takes, and I'm really proud of it. They're both really cool videos. It's great people can hear me doing more mainstream music.
Which artists shaped you?
A lot of people! I grew up listening to oldies in the car with my mom. I'm definitely influenced by great singer-songwriters like Carole King. Tapestry is one of my favorite albums of all-time. I think she's a genius. Then, there's Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. Sara Bareilles's Little Voice was really inspiring. Believe it or not, Hall & Oates are such a huge inspiration of mine. They're the greatest pop duo of all-time and I'm absolutely obsessed with them. I love Motown, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder. The Jackson 5 are obviously great. Billy Joel is one of my favorite songwriters. I love that man, Elton John, and The Beatles. Pink is a huge inspiration for me as well. Her second album M!ssundaztoodd is one of the greatest as well. All of those people inspired musically and as performers.
What's next for you?
I have some more dates on my tour! After that, I go back to L.A. and I'm going to start doing promotion and press for my new movie, Fun Size. It's my first leading role in a big studio film. Chelsea Handler plays my mom, and Johnny Knoxville's in it. It's a great cast, and I'm really proud of it! Then, I'm going to start focusing on my studio album and working with producers I've written songs with before that I love and a couple new people. I'm definitely excited about that.
Read the full interview by Rick Florino for artistdirect.com here