I'm so pumped to share this interview with all of you. Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with Ridley Victoria, singer and friend. Ridley inspires me to follow my passions, and I know her words will inspire you too.
(sitting in a coffee shop drinking an awful lavender ginger tea)
First, who's Ridley Victoria?
I'm a singer/songwriter based in Chicago. I would describe my sonic aesthetic as a blend of R&B, pop vibes, with a trap twist. I want people to feel when they listen to my music, and want to dance. I want to appeal to other powerful women through my music - we all can prevail in the entertainment industry. There is power in feminism.
When did you start making music?
I've been singing in front of people ever since I can remember. I started songwriting when I was 12 or so - it started as alternative rock/pop. Then I started writing rap when I was 17. When I turned 20 I moved to Los Angeles, started meeting with engineers and producers and making my way in the music scene.
Describe your first performance.
My first performance was in L.A. at a speakeasy. I sang 3 songs that were supposed to be on my EP Double tongue - only 2 made it on the record. It's funny because I never really get nervous with my music. Everyone was vibing with me, which was great; I love when people rock with me to my music.
What was the first song you put out as Ridley Victoria?
It was called Neophyte. It was a rap EP with 8 tracks - it was very nitty gritty and in your face. I took it down and put it in the vault because I feel like it doesn't represent who I am now as an artist. I've grown.
Can you give us a taste of what you're currently working on?
I just released Vogue featuring Solo the Dweeb, who is a local Chicago rapper (tune in here). Flex is also out which is a solo track (listen here). Both of these are more poppy and upbeat tracks. I'm working on my debut album P.O.P (Pretty on Purpose), and it's set to be released this Fall. The album is going to feature fellow Chicago artists who have yet to be named. With this project I have no inhibitions - I just want to go for it, do what I want to do, and not worry about public perception.
What does a session in the studio look like?
My typical sessions are usually 3 hours long - 1 hour recording, 2 hours of mixing & editing. I work with a lot of engineers, so before I hit the booth I try to get to know the engineer before we begin working. I like to go in the studio, record in a reasonable amount of time, then mix the song. A lot of engineers in the past have gotten frustrated with me because I can be particular, but I have a clear vision, and the final word on the product. It's my music.
Name some of your favorite artists.
2. Little Simz
3. Kendrick Lamar
4. Amy Winehouse
5. Bebe Rexha
What's the hardest thing about following your dream?
The music industry is so over saturated. Recording is easy. Writing is easy. Putting your stuff on Soundcloud is easy. Getting people to listen to your stuff and give your art the time of day is tough.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to follow their passions?
Don't put a deadline on yourself, but set realistic goals for your dreams. The goal may not come exactly how you envision it, but once it comes be prepared to change your route.