“With a songwriting style that reminds of brilliant female artists such as Sheryl Crow or Shania Twain and a vocal interpretation which hints on Gwen Stefani, AKA V … has all the right ingredients for a promising start in the industry.” – Vents Magazine
“…AKA V hits the mark perfectly, creating an emotionally intense and moving track.” -The Littlest Voice webzine (about 2017 single “Gone”)
“Her optimistic approach to life has made her keep a clear head in the pursuit of her own career. Aka V is an artist who knows exactly what she wants and turns her ideas into reality.” – Top40-Charts.com review
V has been steadily releasing singles for the last few years, artfully pushing her musical limits, and finding a sound that is all her own.
Originally from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, a small town about seven hours northwest of Montreal, AKA V set out on her own to Toronto, Ontario to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Determined to make it in the demanding music industry, she learned Audio Production and Engineering so that she could record and master her own tracks. While she worked through her education, V also joined the Canadian rock band OzGoode and went on a cross-country tour with them as their singer.
Her journey inspired her 2016 debut single “Always Go Home,” and she has since released seven other singles, including a cover of PJ Harvey’s “This is Love” and Audioslave’s “Like A Stone.” She has blasted her way onto the indie music scene and is shaking up the airwaves all over the world. She has even performed over 100 live shows throughout Canada, the US, and the UK.
What first got you into music?
I got into music after an eye opening trip to the west coast of Canada. I lived on the East coast then and I was in a really bad place mentally. I needed to escape so I got my parents to take most of my stuff back home and care for my dog and I drove to the West Coast all by myself. Driving 40 hours by yourself across the country is definitely some great therapy!! I worked on orchards until it got too cold and I got myself a contract on a ski resort for the winter but I had 3 weeks left until my contract started with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It was getting cold in Canada so I decided to drive down to LA to check it out. I instantly fell in love the minute I got there! The music scene, the beaches, the true American Dream! Right then and there, I decided that when my contract on the ski resort was over (5 months), I would be moving to Toronto (the music capital of Canada) and I’d start singing.
What is your creative process like? How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it?
I write my songs a few different ways but for the most part, it starts with a concept idea or a set of lyrics in my songwriting book. I don’t typically hear melodies in my head until I have a chord progression that fits the emotion/feeling I want to convey. When I get a concept idea or snippets of lyrics, I write it down and come up with a full song concept (verse, chorus, general idea and feeling) in order to get some kind of musical bed for my idea. I then show and explain it to my songwriting partner who plays guitar and drums. He usually plays what comes to him and then I help him refine the chords (when needed) to the vibe that I really want. Depending on the song, sometimes, he’s bang on vibe wise and it even inspires the rest of the lyrics and the song. Other times, we have to work a bit harder at it and change it up. Once I have a decent idea of the chord progression and rhythm, I have something to work with to finish writing lyrics and come up with melodies. Then we send everything over to my producer Scott and he starts working his magic! He’s a great guitar player and he always knows which sound will give my music the right floor for my style. I absolutely love working with him!
Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that!”?
I have but it took me a while to decide to actually pursue it. I was a busy body as a kid so practicing for hours wasn’t really a thing I enjoyed doing. I tried singing when I was 4, piano when I was 6 and guitar when I was 12 but didn’t stick to any of them long enough to get any good. It was when I got to college and was studying sciences that I realized I was in the wrong program. I still had 6-8 years of university ahead of me to become a veterinarian (which is what I wanted to do) and I was not up for it! While studying for really hard exams until 2-3 am, I would take breaks from studying to sing along to a few of Kate Voegele’s songs. Her music isn’t really the style I gravitate to usually but I was watching One Tree Hill back then and she was on the show playing a singer songwriter. I got into her music and her cover of Hallelujah is what touched me deeply. I was still too scared to try and sing at a decent time of the day though. God forbid if someone heard me and I sounded awful right ?! But luckily, I was studying late at night in my basement where no one could hear me and belting out to Kate’s songs was a great way to relax my brain from all those formulas so those singing sessions were my study breaks. That’s how I realized that I needed to get into music!!
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I just LOVE creating!! As part of being an artist, creativity is at the center of everything (well almost everything). Whether it’s the songwriting process, the visuals associated with new music, putting together a show, creating different looks, creating content to promote the music, etc.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show I have played was back home in my hometown when I was touring with the band OzGoode. It was my first time performing there and we had an amazing venue booked with amazing sound, lighting and a great stage. Our performance was great, we had multiple photographers, press, radio interviews, etc. and the turnout of the concert was amazing!! The room was packed!!
The worst show I have played was in New York at the very beginning of my solo career. I was only playing acoustic then and the promoter booked me as the last act after 2 full bands who brought local crowds. I went on around 1 am playing with just an acoustic guitar which had a very different vibe than what their people had come to enjoy. A few people stayed for a couple of songs to be nice but then everyone was going to party somewhere else and we ended up playing in a totally empty room. The staff basically told us to pack it up after 3 songs because we were playing to nobody. It took us forever to get home, we got lost in the metro on our way back and got back where we were staying wayyy too late. It was definitely not the best experience!
What is your favorite song to perform?
My favorite song to play is Last Chance. I love the groove, the angry lyrics and the muted guitar in the beginning. That song has a special place in my heart. It’s the first song I released as a solo artist that truly felt like MY sound and it’s a blast to perform on stage!
What led you to become a music artist and what advice can you give to others aspiring to make a hit?
My desire to create and the fact that music is an amazing career to be creative on ALL levels.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is considering a music career, it would be to work on your mindset every single day!! There are soooo many talented people out there but a lot of them are not successful at making music their full time career because their mindset isn’t there. It’s not an easy industry so if you want to “make it”, you need to make sure you set your mind right. Success is 80% mindset, 20% talent!! The more you get to know people in the industry, the more you’ll realize how true this statement is. It still blows my mind!!
Which famous musicians do you admire?
I’ve mainly been looking up to Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless), Lilith Czar (previously known as Juliet Simms) and Chris Cornell since I got into music. Being in a band and having your solo career definitely makes things and goals different but I remember watching Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl (played by Taylor) as a teenager and I’ve been following Taylor’s journey and growth into the music industry ever since so she most definitely is one of my biggest inspirations. The way she paved her path in the rock music scene is truly amazing. I’ve also been following Juliet Simms since she was on The Voice years ago and since rebranding herself as Lilith Czar and singing onto Sumerian Records’ roster, she’s truly bloomed and has been touring with the biggest names in the rock scene. Chris Cornell, I don’t think I even need to explain why! His voice and music is just unreal! Some of my favorite stuff he’s done was with Audioslave. Hence why I covered their song Like A Stone.
What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Are any releases planned? Future gigs?
Yes, I’m just finishing up my next single “Prisoner” to be released in July. I will be doing live video performances of each of my singles, and music video shoots and I’m currently working on a song for a movie being shot in the Fall. As for any upcoming gig, I will be playing small gigs throughout Southern California this summer and I am looking to book a west coast tour before the end of 2022.
As a kid were you ever frightened of a monster under the bed or in the cupboard?
Not under the bed or in the cupboard but in the toilet haha I had a storybook where there was a monster coming out of the toilet and I guess that story really stuck with me.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
I have a rock in my purse that I have been carrying around since 2011. It’s a pretty normal rock I found on my first ever trip to California. That trip made me decide to pursue music and as a promise to myself, I kept the rock with me and swore to myself I would be back and one day live here. Even though I now do live here, I feel like it’s become my lucky rock and I’m still carrying it around in my purse.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Embrace your imperfections and build your brand around them because that’s what makes you unique. A lot of the time, we want to be perfect because we are conditioned to want that. But really, perfect is boring af! What makes you unique is all the things that bother you because you see them as imperfections. So learn to embrace them and watch people gravitate to you and your craft.
Do you shout out the answers on the TV whilst watching quiz shows?
I don’t because my education was all in French so my knowledge of the answers to the questions for those shows is very limited. We didn’t get English TV where I’m from and I don’t remember those types of shows in French. Although, I don’t remember watching much TV either as a kid/teenager. I liked to play outdoors and do things with friends more than sitting in front of the TV at home and I was never one to remember all the little details of life and things we learned in school.
If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
My ability to get things done early on instead of waiting until the last minute. The same goes for getting ready and being on time. I always feel like I need to be rushed to get ready and I end up frantically running around to get ready and to get to where I need to go. I’m sure a few people close to me reading this right now are laughing!!
What was the last TV series you watched on TV?
I typically don’t watch much TV but since I started braiding my hair, I’ve had to figure out ways to keep my mind occupied while I braid. It takes A LONG TIME! So I’ve been watching a lot of TV series recently since there is only so much personal development and podcasts you can listen to before your brain starts feeling overwhelmed and says: “Wow! Enough!” Haha. I think the last series I watched was Cruel Summer on Hulu.
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