Victoria Banks is living the dream in Nashville, Tennessee, writing songs and making a good living at it. It’s been a long, hard road to get to this point in her career but if you give it enough time the cream will always rise to the top. Sitting with Victoria at the Gibson Shop in Toronto she is a picture of calm and confidence in her craft but with enough of the creative insecurity that all great artists have. “ A lot of folks think of songwriting as just something you sit and do. You pick up a guitar and a pen sitting at your kitchen table and a song comes to you. But actually I go to the office everyday and spend 8 to 10 hours writing and labouring over ideas and melodies.
It’s a lot of work and I’ve put 10 years into working at my craft” Victoria signed her first publishing deal in 1998 where she was a staff songwriter for Fame Music and from 2002 to 2007 she was a writer for Full Circle Music and as of 2007 she is writing for Nashville's Sony/ATV Publishing.
Born in Port Carling, (Muskokas) Ontario, Victoria’s self-produced debut CD When You Can Fly was released on the On Ramp/EMI Canadalabel in April 2009. The CD earned her a 2010 Canadian Indie Award nomination and six nominations at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMAs) that included Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Single of the Year ("The Wheel"), Songwriter of the Year ("The Wheel"), Female Artist of the Year and Rising Star, making her the most nominated female artist of 2009. The album's first single off the album "The Wheel," was a Top 20 song.
Victoria was named both Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter(s) of The Year at the 2010 CCMA Awards and was nominated in the Female Artist of the Year category again in 2011.
Being a staff songwriter in country music is not an easy position to get to and has its benefits if your work is up to the task. Victoria has had songs featured in movies and TV and recorded by some of the top names in country music. Jessica Simpson, Sara Evans, Cowboy Crush, Marty Raybon, 3 of Hearts, One More Girl and Johnny Reid. “I co-write with some incredible people and Sara Evans just cut two of our songs on her Slow Me Down CD. Both tracks, “Gotta Have You” and “Can’t Stop Loving You” were co-written with Emily Shackelton & Phil Barton. Pretty pumped by this !!” When asked if she had a bucket list act to record one of her songs Victoria said “I love Martina’s and Trisha’s voices. And there is a male artist that I would love to have a cut with. I don’t want to jinx it but he is recording one of my tunes right now. I’ve had my heart broken too many times so I don’t want to count on it making the final cut. BUT, he emailed me saying he had recorded 6 different versions of it but wasn’t sure if he’d have time to put the strings on it that he wants.” She laughed when she said “I sent him some numbers of string guys I know and he sent me a picture of a huge string section in the studio and said “I had something bigger in mind. This is the string section and they’re working on your song right now. I will let you know as soon as I know!” (Fingers crossed for her.)
Victoria is also a fine performer and endorses Gibson guitars. And her guitar is not a prop, she actually is an accomplished player and has played acoustic guitar for Pam Tillis, Crystal Shawandaand Rachel Proctor, “ I’ve played Gibsons since about 2008. The folks there have been so great to me - they have repaired many a United Airlines dent, that's for sure! And Gibson has such a great tone and action. Love them and my J45.”
Now here we are at the at the stage where Banks gets to release the album she always wanted to make. “It was a leap of faith, being so different from my other records, but I decided to just go where the songs wanted to go, make the record I wanted to make, and cross my fingers that people wouldn't hate it!” And what a fine record it is.
The album, “Indigo”starts with a rhythmic tune called “Get On The Train” . It has an infectious hook and positive perseverance message. “Hello Heart” is a beautiful acoustic song, simple production that doesn’t step on the lyric and vocal performance. One of those “put on auto repeat” tunes.
“Cruel” is a pop oriented radio friendly song and “Firefly” is another pretty tune about how we all have a light to shine. “Angelina” is one the most haunting songs you’ll hear about a missing child on a milk carton. Banks delivers a heart wrenching vocal and draws you in with the intense lyric. “Let Go Of The Stone,” advice we all could use at times in our lives. You can’t swim with your boots on. Great rhythmic bridge. “Ruined”, the first single of the album should get a lot of airplay. The title isn’t what it seems. Ruined in a good way. “Yours” follows and is another acoustic gem. As the lady in the song says “I’m loyal to the end and a little jealous of your old girlfriend. but I’m yours” Love this one. “Run To You” is a minor key mid-tempo tune, explaining all the things that draw the singer to her love. “Indigo”-when I saw the title “Indigo” I thought it was going to be about the Indigo Hotel in Nashville. But it is a wonderful imagery portrait of the feelings and colors between black and blue, indigo. Beautifully produced and sung.
Go get a copy of this CD, Perfect for listening to on a rainy day or sunny day, warm day or cold day. It’s a comforting record and one you will thoroughly enjoy as you get to know our Canadian treasure, Victoria Banks.
For more visit: www.victoriabanks.net