‘Gold’ singer opens up to MTV News about the highlights from the Summer Break Tour with BTR.
Much like all the students counting down the days until summer break is over, Victoria Justice and Big Time Rush might also be feeling the end-of-summer blues. The U.S. leg of their Summer Break Tour wrapped up on Sunday in Milwaukee, and as it turns out Justice had a fun time spending the last couple months as one of the guys.
“It’s been really great,” she told MTV News. “They’re just, like, really, really nice guys, and we’ve been hanging out on our days off.”
In fact, by her account, things have gotten pretty wild in between gigs on the trek, which officially wraps up this week in Mexico.
“We played a show in Pittsburg and my sister is on tour with me as well. We decided to prank the boys. We got water guns and hid in their dressing room and as soon as they came offstage after this long show, a friend of theirs gave us the signal and my sister and I ran out from hiding and started squirting them like crazy,” she recalled. “It was hilarious. They were laughing and then James [Maslow] stole my water gun and started squirting me, so it was really fun. They’re really funny.”
But the good times hardly ended in Pittsburg. In fact, it seems like every time they let loose during the jaunt water was somehow involved. She explained, “There’s been a lot of really good memories. It’s just really fun getting to hang out with everyone. We had a barbeque in the parking lot of one of the venues the other night and that was really fun. Kendall [Schmidt] was DJing. Everyone was dancing like crazy [and] just going so hard. It started pouring raining but we were having so much fun partying that we didn’t even care. Some of us ran out into the rain and danced around.”
Perhaps one of her tour highlights took place in Bethel, New York, back in mid-July, when the group chilled out at Woodstock, walking around the famed grounds where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin played back in 1969. “That was really fun just getting to walk around there with the boys and the crew and just laughing,” she said. “It was a really, really cool moment.”
With the tour nearly wrapped, Justice is now looking forward to dropping her debut album, which is set for release later this year and features her latest single, “Gold.”
Justine intern Olivia recently got to go backstage to interview the boys from Big Time Rush and Victoria Justice before a performance on their Summer Break Tour, then she was front and center for the show. (We know…it’s tough work, but someone has to do it!) Read on for Olivia’s impressions of the boys, the girl and the concert and get the full interviews from BTR and Victoria Justice.
Opening for BTR was Victoria Justice, who we all know and love from Zoey 101 and her current Nickelodeon comedy, Victorious. Her huge talent is rare, especially in someone as personable and down to earth as Victoria.
I’ve been a fan of both BTR and Victoria for a while now, but after my fun peek into their world I’m even more impressed—these refreshing celebs prove that it’s possible to stay true to yourself even in the world of fame.
Don’t forget to check out the full interviews with Victoria Justice and Big Time Rush!
What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?
Probably being on the bus. I love hanging out with my mom, my vocal coach Vinson, who’s one of my best friends, my makeup artist, and my friend Gabe, who’s assisting us. Oh, and my manager Jonathan.
What do you do on the bus to pass the time?
We play Ms. Pac-Man, watch TV shows, eat A LOT, and we’re always singing. It’s just one huge road trip.
What’s it like when the real show starts – singing in front of thousands of fans?
Performing in front of the crowds is really, really cool. The energy they give off is amazing; it’s an adrenaline rush unlike any other.
What’s the difference between being on stage and having that immediate reaction and being behind the camera on TV?
When you’re on stage you only get one shot, so you never know what will happen. I move around a lot, too, so you have to be in really good physical shape. It can be really exhausting, especially when I’m doing outdoor venues…hence summer tour…and the temperature is often in the 90’s. When it comes to filming for TV, there’s clearly a lot of takes involved. One minute we’re inside on a sound stage and the next we’re at the Hollywood sign, you know? On Victorious I’m portraying myself as a character, but when I’m on stage I’m 100 percent myself.
Would you still be pursuing acting and singing if you hadn’t made Zoey 101 or Victorious?
Definitely. I started out really young; when I was about eight I got involved with child modeling and commercials, and then I moved out to LA when I was 11 to audition and really pursue acting. I was singing throughout the process as well because I went to a performing arts middle school.
When Victoria Justice’s new album arrives, don’t expect a deep, dark side to emerge.
“We all have dark times and darker days,” she says. “And I want my albums to explore all sides and moods…but this is going to reflect different places in my life. It’s going to feel fun and happy.”
Now touring with Big Time Rush, the 20-year-old star of Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and “Zoey 101” is looking to reveal a more mature side with her music.
“When I was writing and singing music for the show, I was younger and the music wasn’t necessarily me. Now that I’m writing my own album, it’s very me. It’s more mature.”
A song will touch on a guy she was upset with, she says, but it won’t push Justice into Taylor Swift’s category. “She’s cornered the market on those songs.”
What might come through: Justice’s incredible work ethic. Acting since she was 10, she had hectic hours on the Nickelodeon projects.
“Sometimes I worked 16 hours a day and then I was in the studio on the weekend. I never had a day off when I was filming ‘Victorious.’ One year I only had six days off. I was busier than the average person in the entertainment industry.”
A complaint? Not in the least. “Moments of what we do are very glamorous and fun and there are perks to being in this business. But it’s also a lot of hard work.”
Because she hasn’t known another life, Justice took the hours in stride. “I’ve naturally been a hard worker and I just really enjoy what I do. I don’t think, ‘Oh, god, when am I going to get off the job?’ I just wanted to make it a great day, a great scene.”
To make sure work doesn’t overwhelm, Justice spends free time with her family and friends, “finding that balance.
“There are days when I’m not feeling my best and I don’t really want to talk to people and then I realize someone could be meeting me for the first time…and I want to make it a cool time, a pleasurable time for them. It’s part of my job. And I enjoy meeting the fans.”
Born in Hollywood, Fla., Justice started acting in a “Gilmore Girls” episode, segued into Disney Channel shows, then landed a featured role in “Zoey 101.” There, she got the chance to sing and the door was open for a music career.
One opportunity, however, doesn’t negate another, she says. “I will continue to do both – acting and sing. I’m just taking my time. I’m reading scripts for my next project and I want to be really careful.”
Adult roles aren’t necessarily the goal. “I want to do things that are creatively satisfying for me. I want to play a character that’s really interesting – something I can sink my teeth into. But I’m also not looking to shock.”
Music, she figures, is where she can bridge those age gaps.
“It’s a tough time if you don’t have a platform to break in. Shows like ‘X Factor’ or “American Idol’ can help because record labels want people with a fan base. Music isn’t selling the same way.”
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, she says, proved it’s possible to move from teen stardom to Grammy winner. In those days, “they had crazy, insane record sales. And it’s changed. It’s definitely different.”
Testing the waters on tour with Big Time Rush, Justice says she’ll sample some of the new music, do a few covers and do “all the songs from ‘Victorious’ that the fans are going to want to hear.”
“Touring is exhausting,” she says. “You’re away from family and friends. But at the end of the day it’s an amazing opportunity for me.
“I like the idea of being on the bus with everyone, going to different states I’ve never been able to see.
“And when I get up on stage and feel the energy? It’s crazy. It’s amazing. It’s overwhelming.”
In short, it’s just what Justice seeks.
Victoria Justice currently finds herself in that all familiar territory between carefree teen and responsible adult. She sleeps late and wears Juicy Couture sweatpants and is always the first one on the dance floor. At the same time, she is more than ready to be taken a bit more seriously.
“I would love to follow in the path of someone like Zooey Deschanel,” explains the 20-year-old durnig a recent phone call from a sound check for her “Summer Break Tour” with fellow Nickelodeon favorites Big Time Rush. “She has her own show and has been in movies, but she also has a passion for music that she can do just as well on the side.”
A Nickelodeon favorite who last year came off an impressive three-year run as the lead character of her own hit television series, “Victorious,” Justice says finding the right combination of success and privacy what she’s currently searching for.
“I love acting and I have been doing it forever, but I also think this is a good time to also focus on my music and songwriting,” says Justice, who will make her Chicago singing debuton Aug. 3. “When ‘Victorius’ was over, it was a little bittersweet, but I feel like 20 is the perfect age to start exploring new horizons. I’m looking forward to new opportunities around the corner and aging myself up a bit.”
While Justice saw much success with recording pieces of music that were ultimately featured in various “Victorious” soundtracks, she admits there was a bit of a cap on what she could do creatively.
“I can’t wait to release more of my own music,” says Justice, who released her new single, “Gold,” just a few weeks back. “Not only is my new song a really fun and catchy song that I thought would be perfect for a summer single release, but I like it because it is a bit more edgier and a bit more mature than the stuff I was singing on ‘Victorious.’ I’m singing something a 20 year old would be singing about.”
Under the watchful eye of over 5.6 million Twitter followers, Justice admits that living in the spotlight is no easier today than when she first broke into the acting/singing business more than ten years ago.
“Even though my life is so abnormal, my parents have really grounded me and I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders despite the craziness,” she says. “I try to stay as low key as I can because I truly value my personal life. It’s not something I want in the pages of magazines. It’s always been important to me to separate my personal and professional life. Some things just are meant to stay private, because once you let people in that way, it’s hard to close that door. I’m very close to my family and I still live at home. I have tried my best not to grow up too fast.”
Justice is enjoying her summer on stage, trekking to 38 cities across the United States and surrounding herself with cute boys and confetti cannons.
“Big Time Rush are super nice and talented guys who I love hanging out with while out on tour,” Justice says. “We really upped the production value this year with more dancers and more props and a really amazing lighting show. It’s a high energy, summer fun time. We even recently had a parking lot party with the entire crew. We barbequed and danced, and even when it started pouring raining, we didn’t let it stop the party. It was one of those summer nights that you didn’t want to end.”
Sweety High gets an exclusive look into Victoria Justice‘s “Summer Break Tour” rehearsals! We get the scoop on the “Gold” inspiration, pranking Big Time Rush and Jackson Guthy, and Victoria’s secret talent!
Former ‘Victorious’ star performs at Pier Six Pavilion with Big Time Rush on Friday
At 20, Victoria Justice has money, fame and fans, thanks to a starring role on the Nickelodeon sitcom “Victorious.” But the Florida native still doesn’t have her driver’s license, a result of spending her teen years focused on work.
“I’ve been on Nickelodeon since I was 12,” Justice, who also acted on “Zoey 101,” said. “Pretty much all of my teenage years have been spent on that network. I’m really curious to see what’s next for me.”
Recently, Justice‘s focus has turned from TV (“Victorious” aired its series finale in February) to music. While Justice, who performs at Pier Six Pavilion on Friday, recorded songs for three “Victorious” soundtracks, she released her first song separate from the kid-brand last month.
“Gold,” the first single from Justice’s forthcoming debut album, is a song about a friendship that should be more romantic. Although she didn’t write the song, Justice says the lyrics reflect her attitudes on dating.
“You have to establish a good friendship and let it blossom into something more,” she said.
The song is forward (“If you want me like I want you then man up and make your move,” goes the chorus) but far from racy. As is often the case with stars who grew up in front of the camera, Justice says the material on her new album (which does not have a release date) is more mature than “Victorious” songs but “not anything risque or scandalous.”
“I take pride in the fact that people consider me to be a good role model. I’m happy to do that,” Justice said. “I’m not looking to shock anyone or go crazy with my solo music. That’s not who I am anyway. At the end of the day, I’m making music for me and I hope people like it.”
Justice answers questions like someone who has had plenty of media training. Throughout our talk, she replied in broad terms that revealed little insight into the personality behind the popular Victoria Justice brand. When asked why “Gold” was the right first single, Justice didn’t have a passionate backstory for the song.
“Honestly, I was kind of torn between ‘Gold’ and this other song I wrote called ‘Shake,’” she said. “I was going back and forth with my label about that. I guess we all got on the same page about ‘Gold.’ I don’t know. It’s a fun, pop summer jam and my label really believed in the song.”
Justice, who has writing credits on “Victorious” soundtracks, says “Gold” is the only song on the album that she didn’t have a hand in writing. She views this album as a way of expressing herself through different sounds. It will fall under the category of pop, Justice says, but the album will have elements of other genres she enjoys. One song has a singer-songwriter vibe, she says, while “Gold” has a hip-hop influence.
“I do enjoy the bridge [of 'Gold'] because I get a little gangsta with it,” Justice said with a laugh.
With a tour ending next month and no acting job to return to, Justice plans to focus on being “a normal person for a little bit, not so crazy and hectic” this fall. Afterward, she’ll return to the studio to continue work on her album. (Justice says she’s already worked with Toronto pop hitmakers The Messengers.) She also plans on reading scripts to find her next acting project. As an actress and singer, many possibilities remain open to Justice, which could be the most thrilling aspect of all to her.
“It’s kind of an open book right now, which is exciting,” she said.
If you go
Victoria Justice performs July 26 at Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. in the Inner Harbor. Big Time Rush will also perform. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $49-$69. Call 410-783-4189 or go to piersixpavilion.com.
At age 20 Victoria Justice has the kind of resume most artists can only dream of in a lifetime. In addition to TV and film, she can now add “successful touring artist” to the list.
There’s no shortage of singers attempting the leap from tween-TV stardom to touring musician, at varying levels of success. But Justice and her team, including Jonathan Shank of Red Light Management, are taking a pragmatic approach to develop a music career for the long haul.
She’s got a high-profile gig for the summer, co-billed on an amphitheatre tour with Big Time Rush. But her one-off dates prior to that outing show she can hold her own, with sellouts at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts and Cape Cod Melody Tent in Massachusetts.
Shank acknowledges it can be a challenge building a music career for an artist well-established from years of work in television, with shows like “Zoey 101” and “Victorious” under her belt. But he’s determined to continue the momentum Justice is building on the music stage.
“The focus has been on the music since [“Victorious”] went off the air. So certainly going forward will be a juggling act between TV, film and music,” Shank told Pollstar. “We have to figure out a way to carry the fan base along and make the mainstream aware of who she is as an artist. She’s an amazing vocalist and performer. She’s a breath of fresh air for a lot of young adults and parents alike.”
In addition to her singing and acting talent, Justice is flexing her chops as a songwriter as well. Her single, “Gold,” is currently climbing the charts and Justice expects to release a debut album early next year.
“The strategy really is to continue to build her social media presence, continue to have her out there in the touring market and figure out an entry point at radio for her next single,” Shank said, adding there will be more headlining dates and international touring later in the year.
Victoria Justice rose to tween idol status after starring roles in Nickelodeon shows like Zoey 101 and Victorious, honing her singing chops on the show’s soundtracks. Last month, the 20-year-old Florida native released her debut solo single, the uber-catchy pop track “Gold.” Fuse caught up with the singer-actress, who’s currently on tour with fellow Nick stars Big Time Rush, to talk about her debut record.
“I’ve written a few songs about boys, relationships and love,” she says. “I definitely draw from real-life experiences, any emotion that I’m feeling that I want to get out there. I’m still working on it, but I’ve written a lot of songs that I’m super excited and super proud of.”
This summer, a new batch of pop princesses is out to claim their rightful places among some of the more-established chart queens in the genre like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Two of the biggest contenders happen to be graduates from the school of “Victorious.”
After the Nick sitcom wrapped up earlier this year, both Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande set off to record debut albums. Justice explained to MTV News what it was about the series that spurred so much musical creativity from the two multi-hyphenate performers.
“We’re all very musical people, so I think it was just natural for us to want to put out our own music,” Justice said. “And ‘Victorious’ was great practice for me. I had never really sung professionally until ‘Victorious,’ so it was great experience. It was great practice being in the studio, performing on the show, and it was just a lot of fun.
“And I actually wrote three songs that ended up on the show, which was very cool,” she explained. “So that was really exciting. I think it really just set me up in the right way to be able to do both [acting and singing]. I’m passionate about both.”
Justice just dropped her video for “Gold,” serving as a tease for her own album, set to debut later this year. She said that with her teen-queen days behind her, she’s ready to make a more grownup statement and that she’s been given a lot of freedom to do so. “I’m in creative control. I’m steering the ship,” she shared.
“I want it to be a little more mature. I’m 20 years old now, so I’ve grown a lot as a songwriter, as well,” she added. “I think my album is definitely going to be pop. I’m kind of playing around with different types of pop. ‘Gold’ is more mainstream pop, and I wrote another song that I’m super excited about, and it’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever written … I’m just exploring with a bunch of different sounds. It’s been really fun getting to write most of my music.”
That song, the name of which she didn’t want to reveal just yet, is “more singer/songwriter-y pop.” “It’s a song that I wrote for a boy, and that’s kind of a Bruno Mars-ish vibe,” she explained. “It’s kind of in the vein of a ‘Just the Way You Are,’ but it’s a girl singing it to a guy. But it’s a really, really fun, catchy song, and as soon as you hear it, you want to snap your fingers and dance and automatically makes you happy. It’s really, really upbeat.”
If the internet rumors are to be believed, Victoria Justice is set to move to “Ravenswood” later this fall when the “Pretty Little Liars” spin-off makes its debut. In fact, the project even landed a spot on her IMDb page. However, according to the actress/singer, her bags aren’t packed, and she has no plans to board a flight to the highly anticipated ABC Family soap.
“I’m not. I’m actually not,” she told MTV News of the reported role. “I don’t know. I was in talks for it, but it ended up not working out for whatever reason. I think it’s a great project, and I wish them luck with it, but I’m not attached.”
Instead, Victoria is focused on her debut album, set for release later this year. She just dropped her single “Gold,” and enlisted the help of eye candy Colton Haynes to play her boy toy in the video. But just because she has music on the brain doesn’t mean she’s taking an extended leave from her other gig as an actress.
“I love acting. I love it. I’d love to do more movies. I’m also open to doing a TV show again,” she said. (Her stint on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” wrapped up earlier this year.) “It’s just something I want to be really passionate about. I’m not sure when that right project is going to come around. When it does, it’ll be awesome.”