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ATP! Interview: Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice could seem like she’s following what has become a cliché career path of a pre-teen show starlet, looking to shed the angel wings from her network and trade them in for a few rebellious scandals and success. But Victoria doesn’t give herself away that easy. She may be rising from the Nickelodeon scene pursuing a double singing/acting career - not exactly unheard of, these days - but she is anything but predictable.

To the heartbreak of many, she left everyone hanging with Victorious, her wildly popular Nickelodeon music sitcom that launched her career but never got a proper finale after it ended last February. Luckily, relief comes in the form of her second major tour, this time in a co-headlining spot with her so-called “partners in crime” Big Time Rush, starting later this month and set to hit all of the major hot spots of the US.

While she’s sure to play fan favorites from the show, including some newer songs off the latest Victorious soundtrack, she’s not revealing everything just yet about the upcoming 'Summer Break' tour.

“I’ll do one or two fun covers,” she says about her yet to be finalized setlist. One of those covers, she reluctantly reveals, will likely be ‘I Love It’ by Icona Pop. “And I’ll play one or two of my new songs. Maybe even more.”

Victoria has been also keeping mum when it comes to those new songs. Four of her originals have recently been mastered, she says, and are set to become a part of her debut record, though she won’t make any promises about its appearance in the record stores.

“I’ve been in talks with the label a lot and we’re figuring out the release date,” she says. “We’re going back and forth on what the first single will be, but it will be released sooner than people think. I feel like by the summer.”

While it’s a bit of a cryptic teaser, Victoria has never tried to hide how she is taking her time with her debut. And one thing she is sure of is how the new record will sound. “It definitely falls under the category of pop,” she says. “It’s hard to describe the songs, but when you hear them, it’s just 100 percent my personality. They’re very me.”

With a focus on high-energy, danceable tracks, it’s only appropriate Victoria would be focusing on her upcoming tour, which is meant to give fans a non-stop summer party. But an appearance back on the screen – whether it’s the small, big or indie screen – is inevitable. Acting since the age of ten, Victoria says film sets feel like home, and that acting is a passion she could never abandon.

“In an ideal world I would love to have a balance between both my music and my career,” she says. “I’d love to be able to do comedy and drama. I would love to try everything. Hopefully when I release my own music it’s successful, and I’ll be able to continue to write my own music and share it with the world.”

The career path from young television-musician starlet to superstar has lately seemed to become fatal pattern, resulting in the overzealous intent to show an evolution from girl to woman, but Victoria has more in store than following the formulaic path of rising child star. (Victoria says she would love to follow in the well-respected career path of Justin Timberlake, who defied the odds of a Disney prodigy. Anyone up for a Victorious/Justified collaboration?) As someone who has already proved her talent, Victoria seems to be enjoying the moment, the rush of performing and the gradual yet inevitable growth of her success.

“I don’t think I’m looking to prove my maturity,” says Victoria. “At the end of the day, whether it be acting or singing, I just want to work with people who are going to make me better, people that I can learn from.”

- Carolyn Vallejo

Victoria Justice and Big Time Rush's 'Summer Break' tour kicks off later this month. Dates and ticket information can be found here.

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