20 Questions with Jennifer Victor
Canadian Jennifer Victor is the 1st woman ever to reach the World #1 Ranking on the World Karaoke Tour. The singer answers our 20 questions and shares her secrets on who she would want to record a duet with and the best advice given to her.
Where did you grow up?
For most of my life, I grew up in Chilliwack, B.C. My family immigrated to Holland when I was 13, and we lived there for 2 years before coming back to Canada.
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
My earliest ambition, was to run a shelter for animals with my older sister. We loved animals and would take in strays all the time, so that was the first ambition I ever had.
Is your family musical?
Yes! My dad often sang, just for fun..but the guy could carry a tune quite well. My mom always sang in the church choir, and my sister will come out to karaoke from time to time to sing with me.
Who was or still is your mentor?
Thats a tough one. I feel blessed to be mentored by so many amazing people in my life. One person who stands out is my longtime friend Liz. She has been with me and believed in me since the first time I was old enough to step foot in a karaoke pub. My sister Debby mentors me in life. She is always honest and supportive, she knows when I need a push, and she also knows when I just need a place to vent.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
For success, ideally I would say both. Ambition is the fuel for success, but you do need talent to succeed. Both are very important.
In what place are you happiest?
So many places make me happy, and often its the energy of those places that make me feel the happiest. I would have to narrow it down to my top three places, because I feel like I can't choose. I love being in the mountains, on my snowboard. I am equally happy at the beach with my kids, taking turns paddling them on my paddle board. And, karaoke! I love the energy of being around people who get up and give it their all.
Musically, who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influence would be Celine Dion. She is such a class act, and her vocal ability is incredible. I am also influenced by Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Latin-American singer whose life story was made into a movie called "Selena". She is an inspiration to the music world.
Who are your favorite singers, past and present?
My current favourite singers are Ed Sheeran, Sia, and Michael Jackson. Past favourites are Queen (Freddy Mercury), Marianas Trench, Celine Dion, Savage Garden, A Great Big World, and Lukas Graham.
Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Oh goodness YES. Typically more during competition.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I just keep going. I do my best to maintain my performance but if it is a really noticeable mistake, I will take a breath, smile and find a spot in the song to continue.
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?
Outside of music, I love being outside in the fresh air...it gives me inspiration. Also being a post partum doula, I work with babies and often find myself singing to them to put them to sleep. Its very sweet.
If you could record a duet with any singer, who would it be?
Well, if he was still alive....Michael Jackson. But Ed Sheeran is a close second.
When you are not on stage performing, what do you like to do for fun?
Snowboarding, paddle boarding, karaoke. I love food...hahaha...so going out for dinner or any meal for that matter is super fun to me. I love singing in my basement while my kids dance around, its pretty awesome.
What song instantly puts you in a good mood?
I feel like I need to cover my face when I write this! That would most definitely be "Gettin Jiggy With It" by Will Smith.
What makes you laugh?
Goats...those goat videos on youtube where the goats make human sounds. Gets me every time! My kids make me laugh (my youngest in particular), and Russell Peters.
What makes you mad?
Intolerance and judgement. And cutting frozen bread really puts me in a foul mood.
What can you not miss on TV?
Grey's Anatomy, Wentworth, and Forensic Files.
Do you have a secret talent?
Hmmm....I can moonwalk...haha.
What is the best advice you've been given?
To always lead with love. Only love can drive out darkness so always put that first. And to find joy in the simplest of things.
What advice would you give to singers who are looking to improve?
I would tell them to practice every single day. Try songs that are out of your comfort zone, stretch your vocals and try new things. Go out to karaoke and be around like-minded people who love to sing. Find that energy and embrace it. If you can find a good vocal coach, that is always a plus. Learning how to control your vocals is huge, so its
always a good thing to learn how to use that muscle effectively. Lastly, learn your "sweet spots" in your voice...they are absolute magic.
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