Interview: Pop starlet Vita Chambers spills the beans!
GT chats to Canadian pop star Vita Chambers on all things Barbados, Bieber and what's bad about the music industry...
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Over the pond in the land of corndogs, baseball and the American dream, Vita Chambers is kicking up a storm! From touring with Justin Bieber to playing the World Pride Festival, she’s been hard at work.
Straight off the sunny shores of Barbados, the stunning Vita popped in via video chat to tell all in her first GT interview.
Check out her latest video A+D at the bottom of the page!
So where did it all begin for you?
Well I grew up in Barbados, born in Vancouver, Canada. When I was 15-years-old I co-wrote four songs with a friend and put them on MySpace. All of a sudden a week later I had a message from a production company who wanted to meet me. So they did and they signed me immediately! Within two months I was living in New York, my life completely turned upside down. It was quite a whirlwind. They put me on tour immediately. I was out in a van with six other boys and my parents and toured the US. You name it, it was crazy. I had so much fun. In 2010 I got to go on tour with Justin Bieber. It was an incredible experience. It’s kinda weird to say 30,000 screaming girls every night is a dream come true but it was! I’m in Barbados right now, I just got home yesterday. I probably look a little unslept and unrested!
You look perfect to us! (She was flawless!)
Oh thank you!
Did you ever meet the Biebs on tour?
He was really nice! I wasn’t even in the building five minutes and he came to my dressing room and thanked me for going on tour with him. I was like “Wow okay!” That kid and his whole team were so nice. Backstage we were like a big family we were very relaxed.
A couple of years ago you released Fix You which really put you on the map, didn’t it?
Yeah! I was in Canada and the story about Fix You is that I wanted to become an independent artist from a label. I think I hit my rock bottom at 20 after living in New York for a bit. I was sick of the music industry, I was chewed up and spat out, the whole typical story. I was like “That’s it I’m done!” I remember crying on the floor of a hotel room to my parents who told me to come back to Toronto, where they were living at the time, keel your soul and see what you wanna do. My mum told me to release a song to prove the last four years weren’t a waste, and that song was Fix You. It did WAY better than we were expecting, it was nominated for a Juno Award, certified gold within a few months. It was definitely a sign.
Do you write all of your own music?
From Fix You onwards everything is mine. When I first started I was told I wasn’t a writer and was given songs. It was hard because I would go to interviews and told what to say, how to think. If I ever had to wing it on a question you could see that I wasn’t being completely genuine and that’s what came across. So when I decided to go back in to the business on my own, I promised that it would be all of me as real and as truthfully as I can make it. I write my own music, I co-produce it and co-direct the music videos.
At the end of the Fix You video it says “to be continued.” Is the new single A+D the rest of that story?
I’m leaving it up to you to figure that one out. I love a bit of mystery in my stories and I love people to play with the concepts, ideas and the little hints you find in there. I do try to thread a common theme in my music.
Why did you choose to make two very different videos for the new single A+D? One is dance music and the other has an orchestra!
I actually woke up one morning, and this is no lie, I got out of bed and I said to my parents, “Guys I want a 16 piece orchestra to back me!” My mum was half asleep on the computer and my dad was standing there in his underwear. Luckily I worked with a group called Shattered Glass from New York City a two years back. I spoke with the composer Max Jacob and spent a month back and forth via Skype creating the composition. I have an incredible videographer Aaron Dean, he has done both A+D and the orchestral video. It came from a really organic place and it’s turned out way better than any of us expected. The beautiful thing about Shattered Glass is they’re all 20-something musicians. It’s not an old bunch of geezers playing instruments, they’re incredibly talented.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
The group that moulded me from my childhood has to be S Club 7!
I love them so much! If their song is playing I burst out in song and dance I know every word. Also Tina Turner, I’m a huge Freddie Mercury fan so definitely Queen, Michael Jackson, I love Cher. She was the first ever concert I went to.
Is there an album in the works?
Yeah there is! Actually I was just forming the songs I have yesterday thinking about the whole sound. It’s almost finished, we’ll probably be releasing it in the New Year.
Do we have a name for it yet?
It’s a surprise! Mostly because we haven’t come up with it yet but shh!
You seem really grounded, do you try to not be swept up by fame?
I think I just love music, I’m not in this to become famous. I want people to love my music and feel something when they listen to it. I think all the other things around the entertainment industry, I try not to get too involved in it. My parents have been amazing, they’ve supported me from day one. God, I don’t know how they’ve done it because I’ve not been the easiest kid. They motivate me as well, anytime I get out of hand I have a West Indian mother who would put me right back in my place.
You’ve performed at quite a few Pride festivals haven’t you?
World Pride was my last one in Toronto. Oh my God. It was incredible. I’ve done a lot of shows, a few pride shows, and this by far was just amazing. The people were incredible. Everything that could’ve gone wrong, went wrong. But it all worked out so beautifully and the show was amazing. My dancers were amazing. The people we’re just incredible.
You’ve got quite a heavy gay following over in the US, do you know where it came from?
It kinda just happened! I live in a town called Hamilton in Canada. A few people on the gay committee that handles their parades had seen me going to yoga at 7am in the morning looking disgusting. They we’re like, “Oh my god Vita Chambers lives here!” So they reached out to me and asked if I would do their Hamilton Pride Prom. From there it just kind of exploded. The word got out and a few people said they saw my show and loved it. They wanted me to come to Pittsburgh Pride, which I did, and I opened up for Chaka Kahn. And then recently World Pride.
Are there any other projects in the pipeline we should know about?
Well I’m currently on tour! I’m doing a lot of things overseas now and I will hopefully be coming over to the UK at some point. Fingers crossed! I’m going over to South Africa next. And obviously I just released A+D.
Is there anything else we’ve missed?
My favourite colour is blue!
Thank you so much for your time!
No thank you! It’s been a pleasure!
Buy the latest single in both Radio Edit and Orchestral on iTunes.
Follow Vita Chambers on Twitter @VitaChambers and on Instagram at VitaChambers.
Make sure you check out her website vitachambers.com and see if she’s performing near you.
Words Harry Dean, @harrydeansays
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