It’s already been an incredibly busy summer for Victoria Duffield, and that trend is likely to continue into the fall.
The 19-year-old Abbotsford singer recently completed a 12-city tour with the Backstreet Boys, where she was an opening act.
“It was incredible. It was very surreal at the beginning because I was a big fan of them as a kid,” said Duffield, who noted she is still impressed with the iconic band that stormed to success in the mid-1990s, and was able to meet each of the five members during the cross-Canada tour.
In fact, member Brian Littrell made a surprise trip up on stage at one concert while Duffield was performing.
There were a trio of stops that stood out for the local resident.
“The energy of the crowd” in Lethbridge and Dawson Creek were momentous, while the May 20 Vancouver stop was a definite favourite because friends and family were in attendance.
The tour gave Duffield the opportunity to refine her ability to connect with the audience.
“When I’m on stage, I don’t have to think about the lyrics or the dance moves,” she said, adding that she works to be “in the moment,” and to look at some of the audience members and sing directly to them.
While still riding high off that tour’s energy, Duffield released her newest album, Accelerate, on June 4. A single from that album will be released later this summer, and she will soon be heading to Toronto to shoot the video.
Duffield admits that it’s “always nerve-wracking” releasing new music, and she hopes the music will create some new fans while still bringing her current fans along.
She spent the better part of the last 18 months working in Los Angeles, London, Toronto and Vancouver on her second record.
Much like her debut album, she was instrumental in the writing process for Accelerate, but said this time she was able to make it more personal.
“I was 16 when I started working on my last album. Most of my inspiration and stories came from my friends.”
This time, Duffield recorded a more “intimate” album about her own life and her own relationships.
“I was able to deal with experiences that I actually went through. To me, Accelerate is about moving forward – and getting all my thoughts out of my head and into the studio helped me do that.”
Duffield first caught Warner Music’s attention in 2010 at the age of 15. A year later they released her debut single, Shut Up and Dance. The track earned platinum status for sales in excess of 120,000, and was the most played song at radio by a Canadian artist for nine weeks. The video also earned her a MuchMusic Video Award nomination, and it reached top spot on the station’s top 20 Countdown.
Her debut album, Shut Up and Dance, was released in the summer of 2012, and it propelled her into pop superstardom. It was nominated for a Juno Award in the pop album category, and she won a Canadian Radio Music Award and Nielsen Entertainment’s Emerging Artist Award. Duffield’s singles have amassed more than 100,000 spins at radio, while her music videos combined to garner more than 10 million views on YouTube.