From Darkness, Victory Finds Hope
“I call the style ‘darkness of glory’,” Victory tells TIDAL, describing her brand of soulful folk. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist says she admittedly creates from a dark place. Yet, it’s these spaces that give her music a sobering glimmer of hope and makes it so relatable.
On Monday, we introduced you to Victory with her debut single, “Believe in Love,” but the track marks yet another milestone in her long musical history. Starting off at age four in the community children’s choir of Detroit (then headed by her father), she took to singing immediately. “I was begging to sing and be part of the choir,” she says. And with four older brothers and sisters who also sing, it’s no wonder a pre-grade school Victory wanted to follow their lead.
Just last year, the five were signed to Roc Nation under the group’s name, Infinity Song, but Victory is up first to release a solo album. With an upcoming performance at TIDAL’s annual benefit concert, TIDAL X Brooklyn, and multiple projects in the works, this week’s TIDAL Rising Pick of the Week opens up about busking in Central Park, her family’s forthcoming Broken Instruments LP and always trying to create “a glorious ending where the listener can find hope.”
Tell me about your upbringing and how you were first introduced to music.
I was born into a musical family. All my older siblings were part of a choir that my dad directed back in Detroit, Michigan, where we’re originally from. I wanted to be a part of the choir that my dad was directing from a very young age. When I turned four years old, I was begging to sing and be part of the choir. It was a community children’s choir, and my dad let me sing. That was the start of my development as an artist not only as a singer, but as an artist. The first years of my career, I was just singing with the Boys and Girls Choir of Detroit.
Eventually, we — I have four brothers and four sisters — all just started singing as a family. We eventually moved to New York City, where we performed in Central Park as a family for tourists, and we’ve been performing there for 10 years. It was literally in Central Park where I got tons of development as an artist. I was introduced to the guitar literally in Central Park. I started writing songs, and I started performing as a solo artist busking for tips in Central Park. Those were my first performances as a solo artist.
[My family and I] were signed to Roc Nation a year ago. That was seven years after performing in the park, and JAY-Z signed us. JAY requested that my album be the first project that we released. For a year, I’ve been focusing on writing and recording original material, and now we’re here.
So your whole family was signed, but you’re doing a solo project. How does that work?
We have two deals with Roc Nation. Firstly, we have a joint venture deal between our company and Roc Nation. The name of our company is the Peace Industry Music Group, LLC. Then, on the recording deal, me, my brothers and sisters have a band called Infinity Song, and our band was signed under a separate recording deal with Roc Nation. Under that recording deal, JAY-Z requested that I do the first album under our recording deal as a solo album. So we’re all signed — all five of us, me and four of my siblings, our band. Our album as a band is the next album that will be produced under our recording agreement with Roc Nation.
Tell me about your upcoming projects.
We delivered 18 songs to Roc Nation [for] this album I call Broken Instruments. We haven’t decided when it will come out. We’re looking to put together an EP that will be coming out next year.
“Broken Instruments” is the title track. It was inspired by many different scenarios over the course of my life, but I wrote this big metaphor of an instrument that was broken. When you think of an instrument, you think of something valuable. But when you think of a broken instrument, you think of something that was valuable but it’s probably not anymore because the purpose of the instrument can’t produce what it was intended to produce.
The idea of the songs on Broken Instruments is that broken instruments can be repaired, and there’s hope for those of us that are broken. And that’s the glory in the song, where the instrument ends up being repaired by the maker. It’s a really big story. It’s so long that I had to break it into three parts because it ended up, like, 17 minutes. It’s literally a trilogy: Broken Instruments parts 1, 2 and 3 on the album. So, it’s heavy. There was a lot of heavy inspiration that went into making that song and really the entire album, but that’s just a brief synopsis of what’s to come on the album.
What is your writing process like?
I like to be honest with my writing and write about real life or ideas that are inspired by real life. I’m mostly inspired when it’s a sad experience or a happy experience — any experience that evokes emotion. A lot of times, I just write from sad or dark places. But then I never write anything or complete any work without having some hopeful resolution to walk away with. I call the style ‘darkness of glory.’
I might have a song where I’m telling a story, and the story might be sad, but there always has to be some glorious ending where the listener can find hope. And that’s basically my idea. You’ll see that idea as a consistent theme in a lot of the songs, and then there are some songs that are more happy. I have a song called “A Happy Song,” and I literally wrote that song because I didn’t have enough happy songs on my album. It still has good inspiration as well.
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