This week, Beyond The Stage is highlighting I The Victor as our Artist of the Week. All week, we’ll be hosting exclusives from ITV, including a Q&A (below), an exclusive song premiere on Wednesday, and a reflection by ITV’s Rebecca Ramos. Read on to learn a little bit more about this talented artist, and keep an eye on the site to learn more about her this week.
Beyond The Stage: Please introduce yourself and describe your sound to people who may have never heard it before.
I The Victor: My name is Rebecca, and I started a project called I The Victor and it basically combines singer-songwriter with a full band and a lot of other influences, I listen to a lot of eclectic stuff. It is all centered around positivity.
BTS: What kind of music influences your sound?
ITV: I’ve been really into Troye Sivan. He’s really, I don’t know, he’s got this really artistic and creative style I don’t know if that’s the right way to describe it, but I’m really into any kind of artistic expression. I like a lot of alternative. I also really like electronic stuff and anything with extremely percussive elements. I don’t know, I like a lot of stuff, but if it’s creative, that’s where I draw inspiration from. And art in general— painting, writing, poetry, film— any kind of unique expression I really draw from.
BTS: Can you explain your writing process a bit?
ITV: I usually just sit with my guitar and it’ll all kind of come from there, or I write things on my phone. Those are the two main ways. Sometimes a melody will randomly come to me and I’ll record it, like a humming version on my phone, and then I’ll come back to it. Actually what happens is I’ll have a little guitar, like, da da da da melody as a voice memo in my phone.
BTS: It’s funny, voice memos are such a common answer, that technology has given so many artists a valuable tool for writing on the go.
ITV: Yeah! It’s awkward, though, like, you try to find a spot where nobody can hear. But it’s cool.
BTS: If you could plan your dream tour, who would you play with?
ITV: I would like to do a tour with, like, AWOLNATION. Yeah, I don’t know, we’re not really in the same genre but there’s I like when there is the tiniest connection between bands on a tour together.
BTS: How did you get started with music? How did you realize you wanted to make a career out of it?
ITV: Basically, I recorded a song called ‘Self Talk’, probably about two years ago and I waited like almost a year. I wasn’t ready to release it for a while, and then when I did, I saw a little bit of what it was like for the first time of having a song get a reaction from people and they liked it. I kind of took that motivation and writing ideas that would make a cohesive entity from it. I was going through a few things, I was working through some insecurities and just, personal stuff (some of which ITV discusses in her reflection — read on Friday) and comparing yourself to other people or like, not feeling like you’re worthy of trying to do what you want. I don’t know, there were a few things I touched on, but it was incredibly free. I was writing songs and I didn’t know if it was going to be an EP, or a group of singles. There was really no pressure, it was just me being honest.
BTS: You premiered your EP “Pause” with Alternative Press. How did it feel to release it with such a well-known outlet?
ITV: It was really cool. I was, I don’t know, a bit scary. You never know how people are going to react. Like, if they’re going to give it a shot, or if they’re going to dislike it just because it’s new. It was kind of scary but it was awesome because there’s a whole group of people I would’ve never gotten to know otherwise. It was awesome.
BTS: Can you talk a little bit about your upcoming Christmas EP and how the process of creating it varied from the creation of “Pause”?
ITV: I kind of want to keep everything of this little “Pause” era visually looking similar. The Christmas EP almost looks a lot like the “Pause” cover art; the covers themselves are similar. I did that because I want everything to look really cohesive as part of this phase of ITV. As far as the music goes, it’s not as intense recording because it doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to get my point across. It’s Christmas music and therefore a lot lighter. This Christmas EP, it’s a lot more, like, it was a cuter process. Lots of harmonies and good vibes, while my original music is a lot more emotionally driven. I have to go in and like, capture them. But yeah, we’re working on some really cool production stuff for it, and I might not have the final until like two days before, but we’ll see.
BTS: What are some of your goals as an artist?
ITV: To stay genuine, I don’t want to ever be given the opportunity to do something huge, but it would require me write different kinds of songs or go in a different direction. I want to stay really honest, make music that I like and that actually means something. That’s my biggest goal, and to find people that it rings truth to. If you like honest music, I want those kind of people to listen to me. So that’s like the long-term goal. As a short term goal, there are a couple ideas that we have and the main one is we’re working on trying to get out on tour. That’ll be amazing. I want to start traveling all the time and the focus for me is on trying to get out there, so I’m excited. Musically, we have a couple ideas, like a video for each song on “Pause,” so seven music videos. So basically, a lot of content and hopefully a lot of touring.
BTS: You said you’re excited to start touring, what are three American cities you’re dying to play to?
ITV: One of them is New York, and I’ve been there before because my whole family lives there but playing there would be such a dream. I’ve really wanted to go to the Midwest. I went out there to record some of “Pause” and I loved it. Where I’m from in Atlanta is kind of like, hustle and bustle, and quite busy. I don’t know there was just this calm vibe where I was in Missouri that was nice, so I’d love to go back to the Midwest. Another city would be Portland, I don’t know, really. For whatever reason, I’ve had a lot of friends travel through there and they love it. I’ve heard great things about the culture and environment there, it just looks like a great place, so I’d love to go there sometime.
BTS: What is your favorite part about playing shows?
ITV: I think just to get to connect to the people who are watching. I think it’s really special. I’ve only played one headliner and that was one of my favorite shows because people were there to like, enjoy my songs. But when we’re opening, I think it’s a whole different approach to kind of win people over and some of them don’t care because they don’t know who you are. So you just have to be honest and put your heart out there and work for them to maybe think “oh this is cool”. It’s so fun to play shows like that; even if it’s like, three people at the end of the day who end up really enjoying it, that’s worth it for me.
BTS: Now for some fun, get to know you questions: Coffee or Tea?
ITV: I’m drinking coffee right now so coffee, but when I’m sick, I’d go with tea 100%, by far.
BTS: Current obsession song?
ITV: There is a song on the Troye Sivan record called “For Him” that I’m obsessed with and it almost sounds like, I hope this isn’t a bad comparison, but it sounds instrumentally like The 1975ish but it’s light and got a lot of groove to it. I don’t know, it’s really great.
BTS: Bieber or One Direction
ITV: I’m going to go Bieber because I think I missed the window of One Direction. I don’t know where I was, I don’t know what I was doing, but I got into One Direction a couple albums into their discography. I don’t know, I feel like I missed some bonding with 1D. I’ve also been listening to Justin Bieber since back in the day. I really like him, and I think he’s so cute, so I’m team Bieber.
BTS: Dream venue to play?
ITV: I feel like everyone says Madison Square Garden, but almost any venue there. Main one might be Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Outside of that, O2 Academy Brixton, Wembley. And I want to House of Blues! I’ve heard a ton about the House of Blues, I’d love to play one, since they’re across the nation. I feel like one more would be the Tabernacle in Atlanta, which is pretty much the biggest you can play here until you’re playing the theaters or arenas.
BTS: Song you wish you wrote?
ITV: Holding Onto You [Twenty One Pilots]. I love that song. It’s the first song I ever heard by them, and I was, like, overwhelmed.
BTS: Anything else you’d like to add?
ITV: Well first, I’d like to thank you for putting this together; I’m still super new and really appreciate when people give me chances to share, so thank you. Christmas EP will be out on the 14th for free! If you want, you can find me on the Internet, we can be friends because I have a lot coming in 2016!