Get to know a pop star in the making: Victoria Dennis, a fifteen-year-old singer/songwriter who has been performing on stages and tv programs such as Madison Square Garden, the world-renowned Apollo Theatre, and Nickelodeon since she was 5 years old; Victoria has what it takes to be the next breakout star. Victoria Dennis is an engaging pop artist who can wow a crowd with her powerful vocals, fun dance routines, and enthralling drumset – a rare combination for female artists, especially at such a young age!
We caught up with Victoria who is currently in the studio working on her debut EP to talk about her budding career, being a young woman in the entertainment business and of course her new summer jam “Who Cares”. Lyrically inspired by a long-distance relationship with an older boy that the singer was getting a lot of criticism for, Victoria channeled her frustration into songwriting to tell the haters to back off because “Who Cares” what you think! The song is co-written by singer/songwriter Kyan Palmer and produced by twin duo The Page Brothers.
The Knockturnal: Talk to me about the new single you just put out…and give me the message behind it as well because I know it’s very important.
Victoria Dennis: I wrote [“Who Cares”] out of a personal experience. I was in a past long-distance relationship and in the beginning because it was long-distance and it’s kind of abnormal to be doing that at such a young age, a lot of my friends and a lot of his friends didn’t understand why we were doing this. They would doubt us and be like, “Oh you’re not going to stay together blah blah blah.” So I wrote a song about this experience basically saying, who cares what anyone has to say? It doesn’t matter, shrug it off. As long as he and I are good, that’s all that matters. The big message behind the song is to not care what people think about you and to literally just be like, “who cares?!”
The Knockturnal: Why is that message so important for you?
Victoria Dennis: The saying “Who Cares?” is really important because growing up I’ve had times in school where I’ve been bullied and stuff and I wanted to tell the bullies “who cares?” about you? I don’t!! After everything I’ve been through this saying was me reassuring myself that I know who I am, and I don’t care what people have to think anymore.
The Knockturnal: How did you get your start in music and when did you first know you could sing?
Victoria Dennis: When I was seven I did a local school talent show and remember getting on stage and being super excited about it, and my mom saw that and said, “There’s something about this that’s right, that makes sense.” And after I got off stage I was said, “Mommy this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” My mom was somewhat of a singer in her teenage years, so I guess she passed it on to me. When I was little I’d be in the car or I’d be at home humming or singing or whatever and she always knew that there was something there, but she didn’t want to force it upon me. I owe my start to my mom!
The Knockturnal: You said that at seven?
Victoria Dennis: Yes at seven I was like, “Mommy I want vocal lessons, I want dance lessons, I want everything. This is what I want.” And she was like, “I knew it and I’m here for you.” And my dad was like, “We’re on this and we’ll support this” and yeah, that’s when I knew I wanted to sing.
The Knockturnal: Can you remember the first song you memorized and sang and performed?
Victoria Dennis: Probably the National Anthem to be completely honest. I’ve sang that song so many times to the point where I can probably sing it backwards.
The Knockturnal: You’re still growing up, but tell me who are some of your musical inspirations? Who do you look up to?
Victoria Dennis: I love Demi Lovato and Jessie J specifically because I feel like I can relate to them the best. They’re like queens and so inspirational! We all know they could “sang” but I feel like I can like really relate to them on school bullying issue and they both have written songs about that. I also love Post Malone. His new album is so good. Who else? There are just so many people. Beyonce is all about that women power thing. She’s amazing. And she slays the stage all the time. Rihanna! She’s amazing. I love her.
The Knockturnal: What kind of music do you want to put out in the world?
Victoria Dennis: I want to put out songs that really represent me. It’s super important because as an emerging artist I have to be able to let my fans know who I am not only through social media but also through my music, so that they can really connect with me.
The Knockturnal: You’re such a young woman, do you plan to target your music towards the younger audience?
Victoria Dennis: I think what differentiates me from other emerging artists is that my music and lyrics are very broad in the topics I sing about, so I can reach all different types of audiences. I think that being relatable is super important so that no matter who the audience is, somebody can connect to it, somehow.
The Knockturnal: I don’t want to put you in a box, but genre-wise, the music sounds a little pop with like some R&B influences. How would you describe it?
Victoria Dennis: Urban pop or even R&B/pop. Even though right now I’m still exploring, I think most of my music is going to be urban pop.
The Knockturnal: Being a young girl in the entertainment industry there sometimes can be pressure to do different things and does that concern you at all with your career?
Victoria Dennis: No, because I am so focused on being the best version of myself that I don’t get caught up in distractions. Also, I am very unapologetically me – I don’t want to fit a mold or to be told how to fit in. I like who I am, whether anyone else does or not. It’s super important to me to be able to fully be myself. Everyone should love themselves and be proud of who they are!
The Knockturnal: Going along with that theme, you do all of these amazing things and perform, how do you stay humble and grounded?
Victoria Dennis: My family and friends definitely keep me grounded and focused on my goals, rather than getting caught up in stardom.
The Knockturnal: I know you are also still in school so how do you balance the two?
Victoria Dennis: Because I’ve been singing and acting and dancing and everything since I was so young, I’ve gotten used to the routine of going to school as often as I can, missing class if I have to for the studio or an event, making up classwork and tests at home, and any free time that is left over I practice the drums, post on socials, workout and hang out with my friends.
The Knockturnal: Where do you see yourself or where do you hope to be in five years?
Victoria Dennis: Good question! I hope to be touring the whole world and sharing my music and my messages with a lot of people. If that can sum it up in a whole…I mean I want to be doing so many things. Maybe I’ll like design clothes or have a makeup line or something. I feel like as I get older I’m going to be getting into new things too. I don’t know I’m just like so excited for whatever the future has to hold!