Teenage singer-songwriter Victoria Anthony is a case study on how to capitalize on a viral moment and not have it be just “that cool thing that happened.” In 2018, American pop star P!nk handed her the mic at Rogers Arena to sing “Perfect” in front of 18,000 people, and from that point on it was full steam ahead.
“I had this wild dream at 12 years old and I decided to just pursue it. I wanted to sing with P!nk, so I asked her on social media if this was a possibility when she came to Vancouver, and it happened. I couldn’t believe it,” says Anthony, now 17, in her last year of high school. She spoke with SOCAN at 8:00 a.m., before heading off to class.
“To me, it’ll always be that cool thing that happened, but some of it was out of my control,” she says. “There were press outlets that I’d heard about my whole life covering me, like Disney and The Talk. I initially was caught in the whirlwind of it all, just trying to keep myself calm, and enjoy everything that I could.
“Once it did settle, I realized, ‘Okay, now I have 10,000 followers or subscribers; my video is getting millions of views a day. Now I have a platform.’ That’s when I decided to share the music I’ve been writing and playing to my YouTube and Instagram,” she says. “I think that’s a very big reason why I had the opportunity to be heard from again.”
Not even in her teens yet, Anthony – who writes on piano and also plays guitar – had never been in a recording studio at that point. Still, a month after singing on P!nk’s stage, she took her original song, “Without You,” into a session with producer Troy Samson. “We did end up changing the chord progression and a bit of the chorus melody,” she says. “It ended up being a co-write, but it was just so cool – because I never finished a song before.”
Today, Anthony has finished tons of songs, with more than six million audio streams – across Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music — and an equal number of views for her music videos, plus another four million for her other YouTube content.
Her 2020 debut album, Real Life, spawned four singles, “Sleep,” “Gotta Get Up,” the title track, and “Breathe Underwater,” and was followed in 2021-2022 with seven songs – “Should’ve Known,” “Stupid Kid,” “Kinda Into You,” “How Cute”, “Bad For Me”, “Save Me,” and “Dirty Lipstick.”
Her next single, “Another Regret,” comes out Jan. 27, 2023, with a yet-to-be-titled album in late Spring, mostly co-written with Ryan Worsley, her collaborator for the past year-and-a-half. “There’s a whole new direction that will be revealed as I release the next three singles. It’s still pop, but with a little bit of a grunge-inspired rock feel, and more honest lyricism than I’ve done in the past,” Anthony says.
“I’m releasing it purposefully in my senior year, because that to me really represents growing up — every part of it. The kind of, ‘Oh my god, who’s this new guy?’ then ‘Oh my god, everybody hates me,’ all the kinds of things that go through your head when you’re in the transition from childhood to adulthood. Just how new everything is. I’m excited for everyone to listen to this album, because I think no matter what age you are, you know the feeling of leaving something you know for something you don’t.”
In addition to Canadian media, Anthony has been covered by ET Online, MTV, Perez Hilton, Alternative Press, Ones To Watch, Consequence of Sound, Tiger Beat, and more. It’s not just because of the P!nk kick-start, or even her music, but because she’s the creative mind behind all the assets, from the album and singles art, to writing and co-directing her music videos.
“I’m the artist, of course,” she says. “Songwriting is very, very important to me; it all starts with a song. But then it’s, like, ‘Who’s that brand? Who’s singing the song?’ Like, what goes on top of it? The album artwork, videos, in the end, it all has my name on it.
“It’s really important to me to see a song through the finish line, because I’m the only one who really knows what it’s about, and can get into the nuance of the way it would look if you made it into a picture, and if you made it into a video.
“And so, in the end, everything that I release, it has my name on it, and I want it to really be mine, and give as much input and vision that I can into it,” says Anthony. “And what’s even more important to me than that, is that I can really make sure that I get the most out of the story, the most out of the writing, and take it all the way to its full potential.”