“This is an artist you absolutely need to pay attention to. Recommended without reservation” - Robert Oermann, Music Row Magazine
“Life is painful and impossible and breathtaking and beautiful. I have to write what I feel.”
That’s where Victoria Banks’ third album, Indigo, comes from. “These songs aren’t written to fit a genre, or to meet an expectation of a sound,” she says. “They’re built from bare-bones midnight recording sessions in my attic. They’re things that I need to say. And these are the songs that people ask for at my shows, so they’re things that people need to hear too.”
Victoria’s list of accolades as an artist is long. Her self-produced, self-penned records When You Can Fly and Never Be the Same made her 2009’s most nominated female artist in Canadian country music, earned her the 2010 CCMA Female Artist of the Year award, and sent her out on tour with superstars Reba McEntire, Wynonna Judd, Lonestar, Randy Travis and Johnny Reid. But songwriting is her first love.
“I tried to take a different path,” Victoria says. “I studied Zoology at the University of Toronto, but I just wrote song lyrics across the corners of my exam pages.” Music was a lifeline in the solitude of the wood-heated cabin in rural Ontario where Victoria grew up. “When winter storms whistled through the keyholes and shut the power off, I played the piano, listened to cylinder records on my dad’s antique phonographs, and sang Bach in 4-part harmony around the dinner table with my family. It’s in my veins. I can’t ignore that.”
After graduation, Victoria worked an array of jobs from waiting tables to painting houses to save up enough money to get to Nashville, Tennessee. There she spent 10 years climbing the music industry ladder as a songwriter before ever releasing a record of her own. “People perceive the music business as glamourous. It’s not. It’s 80-hour weeks of busting your ass and living on nothing most of the time, then saving up like crazy when the money does come in because you never know if it’s going to happen again.”
Hardship hones a songwriter’s craft like a sword forged in fire, and songwriting became a form of self-discovery for Victoria that helped her escape an abusive marriage and survive a parent’s suicide. “My music keeps evolving because I evolve,” she says. “You’re the sum of your scars and the product of your experiences. Songwriting is about turning a magnifying glass on your own life to help find the metaphor and meaning in everyone else’s.”
Now a staff songwriter at Nashville’s RareSpark Media Group, Victoria has penned ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA and Covenant-award-winning songs for over 50 artists. Notable cuts include Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record-breaking single “Come on Over”, Sara Evans’ hit “Saints & Angels” & duet “Can’t Stop Loving You” (with Isaac Slade of the band The Fray), X Factor winner Tate Steven’s “Ordinary Angels,” One More Girl’s breakout BCCMA-winning hit “When It Ain’t Raining,” Doc Walker’s chart-topping “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and Johnny Reid’s smash “Dance With Me,” for which Victoria was named 2010 CCMA Songwriter of the Year.
Victoria has earned a place as one of the most respected artists in the Canadian music industry, the admiration of Nashville’s music elite, and the label of “one of the best songwriters in the business” by Nashville’s Music Row Magazine. In a world where authenticity often takes a backseat to marketability, Victoria’s music is a unique breath of fresh air.