When Canadian electronic-pop diva asked her father to bring home a piano for her at the age of four, she never imagined that he would actually bring home a real piano. "I was hoping for one of those little Fisher Price toy piano," laughs Victoria. "He literally came home with an upright piano."
Those early piano lessons combined with the love & support of her music-loving Macedonian-Greek parents, put Vicki on the path towards her musical future where before long, she had earned a degree with First Class Honors in Classical Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. Victoria had formal training in piano performance (with reknown instructors such as Boyanna Toyich and James Anagnoson). Song structure & music theory studied with masters Andrew Williams, Joe Ringhofer, the late Molly Sclater and Dr. Roman Toi intensified by her natural musical ability, Vicki was soon prolifically writing her own songs-a fact that was noted early on by Vince DiGiorgio (president of Power Records at the time). Signed to this most recognized independent dance record label, "I was blown away," said DiGiorgio of those early demo tapes. At 16 years of age, Vicki landed her first publishing deal with Power records while simultaneously teaching piano and voice to the local neighborhood kids.
As her profile & experience within the music industry deepened, she developed a persistent urge to sing her own songs, rather than simply write for other artists. She sought out the best vocal coaches in the world & totally committed herself to honing her skills as a vocalist. She worked diligently with the late Dixie Ross Neill in Montreal while simultaneously attending intensives with Dr. Micheal Warren. Once more, she gained credit as an operatic vocalist. The most recent roles she performed were "Tisbet" in Rossini's Cenerentola and "Mrs. Nolan" in Menotti's opera The Medium.
After completion of the Royal Conservatory of Music Examiner/Adjudicator program in 1990 with James Lawless, Victoria immediately began her post as Royal Conservatory of Music Practical and theoretical examiner. Today, she maintains active with the College of Examiners.
Registered with the Canadian Festival Adjudicators Association (CMFAA) for countless years, Victoria has had the pleasure to adjudicate numerous competitions/festivals throughout the years. Here is a mere list: Toronto Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition (piano), Toronto Music Festival (Columbus Centre) (piano), Kiwanis Music Festival of St. Catherines (Strings), Pickering Rotary Music Festival (piano), Coquitlam District Music Festival (voice), Peterborough Kiwanis Festival (piano), Oshawa Kiwanis Festival (piano), Lambton County Festival (piano & voice), Grey County Kiwanis Festival (piano), Cape Breton Kiwanis Festival (piano), Temiskaming Festival of Music (voice), Barrie Kiwanis Music Festival (piano), North Bay Kiwanis Festival of Music & Dance (piano & voice), New Brunswick Provincial Music Competition (piano & voice), Chatham Kiwanis Festival (voice) and the Greater Toronto Music Festival (piano, voice & strings).
Registered also with the Ontario Registered Music Teacher's Association, Victoria continued to teach piano, voice and theoretical subjects privately in various studio locations across North America. Eventhough, she continues to teach privately, she tends to do more masterclasses and workshops these days due to the demand.
Vicki's debut single released in December 1992 entitled BE MINE had been out a mere five weeks & sky-rocketed to the top of Chicago's & Miami's dance charts, sitting comfortably at #2 week 1--NO BULLET--JUST STRAIGHT TO THE TOP. The track was picked up for distribution in the US & Vicki returned to Canada. Media was quick to crown her "Canada's Queen of Freestyle"-the FIRST Canadian Freestyle artist, as per DJ Johnny Love's 1994 Vol 1, Issue 1 Freestyle/Bass Express Magazine. The recognition spiraled into a whirlwind of high profile performances in the US including a date at the FUN HOUSE in Palm Beach. BE MINE sold out immediately before even hitting the dance charts.
Here is what was said about Vicki & her debut single BE MINE & followup track:
DJ TIMES--NEW YORK--Producers Massimo Rosati & Vicki present to us a freestyle house track with 5 mixes. Ms. Vicki's vocal delivery is very sensual. I would pay particular attention to the Dub Mix & the Miami Mix which is really suave ****
STREETSOUND MAGAZINE--NEW YORK--Dance House mixes on the first side. The B side contains the strong freestyle mixes of a Miami flavor with lots of bass & Vicki's seductive vocals are a winning combination. ****
FREESTYLE BASS EXPRESS MAGAZINE--Vol 1. Issue 1.--TORONTO--DON'T BREAK MY HEART--There are 6 mixes in total of this single. Three of them were produced by Vicki herself & the rest were produced by A. Uyanik (courtesy of Ventura Int). The single possesses an excellent combination of Vicki's lulling vocals, a C & C rhythm type flavor & classic Freestyle keyboard sound which reminds me of the keyboard solo found on Sassa's "When the Time is Right." ****
Furthermore, Vicki won Billboard's 6th Annual Song Contest & was nominated for Juno award performing at the pre-Juno bash also, received special recognition from ASCAP & was voted Hottest Female Freestyle vocalist on Miami's legendary Hot Traxx Awards. The next year proved that her early success had nothing to do with luck. She helped launch Ti Amo Records with her contact list & was their first female artist. They had her do a song that did not reflect her true vocal abilities CALLS OF LOVE (on the Ti Amo label). Dismayed greatly with the production, she quickly made her exit to move on since she ensured herself a non-exclusive arrangement with these beginners. Next, she teamed up with a local musician Chris Phillips. Seeing that he had some production talent, she worked with him on many early tracks & even gave him the opportunity to perform with her at her performances (including the Collage show at Toronto's Palladium). Seduced b a deal from Metropolitan & seeing that Victoria's recognition was no longer of service, the trusted relationship also had to come to an end.
No stopping, Vicki continued with countless releases on top indie compilation labels such as Hot Productions & the famed UK Seduction series, the SPG Freestyle compilation as well as the release of her first Bass Productions compilation written arranged, produced & AR'd by herself (on the Hot label). Through these years & compilations, she nurtured, wrote & produced for many singers that you still may hear of from Toronto. Yes, she was responsible for the start of many, many singing careers.
Her second breakout single in 1994 was DON'T BREAK MY HEART. It was immediately picked up by SPG Music & this garnered her the attention of a Toronto record company exec who seduced her with the fact that she would be working with the reknown producer Tolga Katis (Stevie B, Linear, etc....) & Frankie Boy (now famously known as Frankie J). She quickly signed the dotted line to the Ventura Label & flew out to Miami to record with the infamous Tolga himself. The track WITHOUT YOU was produced with Tolga. This session was followed by writing, production & recording with Frankie & his talented team.
To everyone'/s surprise, the exec disappeared after the masters were delivered. The next thing she discovered was that WITHOUT YOU amongst other tracks were released on compilations without any payment, credit or compensation. Songs recorded with Frankie were sadly lost except for one that she luckily salvaged & later released. Despite the betrayal, the work done with these two Mega artists had easily put Victoria on another level--one that would be challenging to surpass as there are not too many Freestyle artists performing on today;s stage that had the opportunity to record & release tracks written & produced by the Godfather of Freestyle...Mr. Tolga Katis. After saturating the club scene & seeing that the Canadian stage was quickly filling up with everyone wanting to be a Freestyle singer;To retain the quality of the music, Vicki decided to use her formal degrees in music to focus on creating an empire through her chain of boutique music schools & recording studios, refraining from the stage altogether. Thus, Victoria was born.
She became highly recognized & respected not only as a recording artist but also as a piano & vocal coach, examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada & US) & international registered adjudicator. She also quickly became known for artist development, her writing & her production. Many of her very own students went on to place in X-Factor & The Voice. Some went on as recording artists or grace the operatic and Broadway stages across North America & Europe. One of her students is now also an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music himself. So many careers she developed during this time. She even penned several music books & continues to write piano pieces for young aspiring pianists (published by Alijam Music).
In 2004, Victoria decided to release a full length LP entitled TOGETHER FOREVER, just to make a mark. It was a throng of infectious commercial dance/pop tracks polished by Toronto's top mixers & producers. It also included her two songs that were originally written by Tolga & Frankie J.
The first single from the album to hit CHR radio across Canada was the cover version of Right Here Waiting (Richard Marx).
The demand for her vocal coaching, writing & production was so lucrative during these years. It took her away from her passion of being a recording artist herself.
So after building her empire, in 2012, she had the opportunity to move to Miami permanently. She felt that she needed to start spending more time on her own musical endeavors. Victoria jumped at the opportunity & began writing again. When word got out to djs, producers & fans, the buzz for her return was in the air. The demand for her come back resulted in her releasing Don`t Go as her comeback single on July 4th, 2013. Shortly afterwards, she was noticed & approached by the owner & president of SGR Records. Thus, All I Ever Needed was released on the Freestyle Bangers 1 Compilation. Four more tracks were recorded & released on the EP The Wizard Mixes. Further, the track Have to Have You was placed on Freestyle Bangers 2. This track was also released as a Collector Edition 12 inch single in gorgeous pink vinyl by Victoria`s executive production team.
Victoria has also recorded several tracks with the talented writer producer Artie Rodriguez. I Just Wanna Love You appeared on the 2016 Hidden Gems--A Class of Our Own Vol 2 Cd Compilation (NuStyle Records). Two more titles appeared on A Class of Our Own Vol 3 . The first entitled Memories of Me & You. The second entitled If Given a Chance (Victoria`s first duet with recording artist Marcos).
2018 marked a duet with Nick Colon (a TST production). 2019 started off with a solo version release of If Given a Chance. Later in the year, fans will be thrilled for the return of Victoria`s 1991 debut single Be Mine with rerecorded vocals (a Flavio Griffo--Nu Fe production). 2020, the plan is to release a track produced by Carlos Berrios. There are a few other tracks that have been on the table which may be included in her last double album Best Hits Collection.
She has now turned her focus to her teaching, acting & her daughter (whom she has trained since the age of 4). Alexia (age 11) is also an actor, dancer & singer. Her first single Starlight was released on August 25th, 2018. The Freestyle community welcomed her warmly. Thus, the track is currently being remixed and incorporated with her video to prepare for a national & international release.
``I thank each & every one of you for being so dedicated for so many years. I will continue teaching, writing & recording for as long as I am able to contribute & leave behind my legacy. However, It is time to allow room & make way for the younger generation to grace the stage. Future plans will include coaching, masterclasses, directing theatre for young aspiring actors, my writing projects & acting for tv & film,. Dreams are endless. Always reach for the stars in anything you do.``