D. Blais: Please introduce yourself to our readers? Andrea Viktoria: I am a singer/songwriter, performer, and former competitive ballroom dancer, now starting to get more into the production and business management realm as well, under Jonathan's, my producer and owner of our label Celestial 3, wing of course.
Outside of my music, I also worked in health administration (both in operations and Human Resources) for several years and currently run operations (overseeing revenue profit/loss projects, marketing, manufacturing, client relations, etc) for a bath and beauty e-commerce company, The Bath Club, Inc. I find that many of the skills we acquire from other facets of our lives can also be applied elsewhere, such as with my other vocations and music.
In my free time I also love camping, hiking, and traveling in general, focusing specifically on other cultures and languages, which often provides me with muses for my songs. D. Blais: Who is your biggest musical influence and why? Andrea Viktoria: My youngest brother, Andrew. There are so many inspiring musicians in the world from all eras, in my humble opinion. Andrew is one of the few who eat, breath, and sweat, music. He doesn't make music for money (if fact, he had it at a young age and gave it all up), but rather for the pure art and love. While many of his skills come naturally, he pursued his talents further through, I'm not kidding, you can see it on his guitar strings, blood, sweat and tears. Even when admired by many, he preserves his humility and the reason for why he started music in the first place, never straying from his true passion. D. Blais: How did you learn music and the music business?
Andrea Viktoria: I, like my brother, started music, primarily singing, at a very young age. My cousin, who often watched us, taught me basic technique, and of course the beauty of singing. I always found, and still do find, comfort in singing. Most of my songs arise as an improvisation of essentially trouble shooting in my head. Sometimes I write them down. Through middle school, high school, and college I participated in choirs, singing/acting competitions, a capella groups, and of course performing at primarily local venues with Andrew.
I studied pre-medicine, although worked in a variety of fields before graduating as well, many in health services, but also in managing tutoring services, running my own cleaning and nannying businesses, etc. After graduation, I worked up the corporate ladder in healthcare as a site manager, project and hiring manager, regional manager, and then Chief Operations Officer at my current company.
Once again, I applied skills I harnessed from each of these positions to my music as well and was fortunate enough to work with a phenomenal sound engineer, Ismael Sanchez, and now Jonathan as well, so that I can continue to develop my understanding of music business.
D. Blais: Who manages your career?
Andrea Viktoria: I've primarily managed my own, however, I am now fortunate enough to work with both Ismael and Jonathan, as aforementioned. D. Blais: What do you think are the biggest challenges for independent artists?
Andrea Viktoria: Most artists seem to struggle with multitasking and learning the business side of music. They wait for their opportunity, rather than attempting to take or make it themselves. Others get lost and lose sight in the beauty of the journey and production of music itself, instead becoming far too obsessed with money and/or fame. D. Blais: What means do you take in order to establish your marketing activities? Andrea Viktoria: I create a marketing plan and try to adhere to it as best as possible, although allow for delays and plan to restrategize accordingly. I make promotional ads and videos with music clips for each song and then primarily use social media (FB, IG, YouTube, now TikTok, even LinkedIn) but I also make acquaintances around the world who I stay in contact with and, since they are earnest relationships, are quite found to stay involved in my life as well. I will share music with them and word-of-mouth does the rest of the work for me.
Once the pandemic continues to slow down, I also plan to perform live again and tour.
D. Blais: Which social media do you like best? Why? Andrea Viktoria: For music, I prefer Instagram as more of my target market are active on this site and the intention behind the media platform is to view pictures and videos, as opposed to facebook that is more for staying connected and has a slightly older avatar (profile).
D. Blais: Do you write your own music and your own lyrics?
Andrea Viktoria: Yes, although I sometimes use collaborators. Ismael was my sound engineer for the last album and did mixes for a few of the songs. D. Blais: What is your creative process?
Andrea Viktoria: As aforementioned, most of my songs arise as an improvisation of essentially trouble shooting in my head. Often, I'll be troubled by something in my own life or by tragedies witnessed or televised and general issues occurring that I want to remedy, even if I don't have a steadfast solution or it is not a matter I can resolve independently (such as world hunger). The melody and the words typically come to me simultaneously. Sometimes I record them or write them down and then go back and teak them or add more formal sections (verse, prechorus, chorus, etc). D. Blais: Do you have any music videos yet?
D. Blais: What achievement are you most proud of?
Andrea Viktoria: I am fairly ecstatic about finally releasing an album and now preparing to plan for the next one, brining my brother, Andrew, in for the next one. He's unfortunately had more challenges than most in his life and I'm hoping the opportunity will bring the light back into his eyes and help him earn something from all the effort he's put into his music. D. Blais: What is success for you?
Andrea Viktoria: Contributing to a greater good and community. I rarely will say no to someone in need and part of the reason I gravitated towards health care and a company that is focused on simple self-care products is that I earnestly feel best, and hence most successful, when I am serving or helping others (at least if they are also willing to help themselves and then spread the love). I want others to know that humanity is not lost, that we can be kind, good, and trustworthy and, most importantly, no one is truly alone.
Similarly, in my music, I focus on songs that are about larger issues and pose a call to action or provide emotional relief.
D. Blais: Do you prefer to work in the studio or perform in concert?
Andrea Viktoria: Both. I find both to be beautiful in their own ways. Studio time is like personal time to me and then sharing the finished product is more intimate perhaps since the music was made in private. On the other hand, performing live is a direct way to share music with a community and feel their energies and responses. D. Blais: What are your future music business goals?
Andrea Viktoria: I want to continue to expand my skillsets and effectively market my current album, as well as those to come. In the short term I would like to increase my reach at least to 10 K people on this first album. D. Blais: Do you think you'll have to review your plans post COVID-19?
Andrea Viktoria: Yes, absolutely. We already have. We definitely have to lean towards more in home/small studio recording and production now, but that does not mean we can't continue to perform live in the future or perhaps jump on this new trend of performing virtually.