“With a songwriting style that reminds of brilliant female artists such as Sheryl Crow or Shania Twain and a vocal interpretation which hints on Gwen Stefani, AKA V … has all the right ingredients for a promising start in the industry.” - Vents Magazine
“…AKA V hits the mark perfectly, creating an emotionally intense and moving track.” -The Littlest Voice webzine (about 2017 single “Gone”)
“Her optimistic approach to life has made her keep a clear head in the pursuit of her own career. Aka V is an artist who knows exactly what she wants and turns her ideas into reality.” - Top40-Charts.com review
V has been steadily releasing singles for the last few years, artfully pushing her musical limits, and finding a sound that is all her own.
Originally from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, a small town about seven hours northwest of Montreal, AKA V set out on her own to Toronto, Ontario to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Determined to make it in the demanding music industry, she learned Audio Production and Engineering so that she could record and master her own tracks. While she worked through her education, V also joined the Canadian rock band OzGoode and went on a cross-country tour with them as their singer.
Her journey inspired her 2016 debut single “Always Go Home,” and she has since released seven other singles, including a cover of PJ Harvey’s “This is Love” and Audioslave’s “Like A Stone.” She has blasted her way onto the indie music scene and is shaking up the airwaves all over the world. She has even performed over 100 live shows throughout Canada, the US, and the UK.
Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has made a huge impact on your artistry.
My favorite happy memory is at the very beginning of my career. I had put up an ad on Kijiji (Kijiji is like Craigslist in Canada) to find a guitar player to write songs with and to eventually start my own band. The next day, I got an email asking if I could tour. Of course I said yes. I was available to tour but barely had any stage experience. I somehow got hired to go on a national tour across Canada for 2 months fronting the band OzGoode. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime at that point and time in my career. I gained so much experience from it and not long after, I started my solo career and released my first song. It’s a song I wrote with a couple of the band members before the band broke up during our second cross country tour. We decided to produce and record the song so we could release it under my solo project name AKA V.
How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?
If I’m being totally honest here, leading a happy and healthy lifestyle doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m so thankful I chose music as a career because singing saved my health and mental health in a lot of ways. I had to learn to take care of myself in order to be able to sing and be a great singer. Your voice is part of your body so if your body isn’t healthy, your voice isn’t either. Aside from doing my best to exercise, eat healthy and get enough sleep, I took up meditation because I was dealing with tension headaches. As someone who deals with anxiety, it’s been extremely helpful and when I fall off my practice, I have trouble singing effortlessly so it always brings me back on track.
Who did you learn from to instill those values?
Life in general. Having health issues and working on resolving them has taught me a lot. I did network marketing for 5 years and I had great mentors who really helped with prioritizing my health and mindset. Over the course of those 5 years, I developed a consistent personal development schedule, took up journaling and really became more self aware than I ever was.
Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well being and not only your art?
100%!! It's definitely a daily battle. I absolutely love working hard and if I’m not careful, my life becomes unbalanced extremely quickly. But then again, when I’m singing, I can feel tension and fatigue and that’s how I know that I haven’t been focusing on my health and well being enough.
Was there a turning point of how you decided to put yourself first?
Yes. Back in 2014, I was losing my voice because of really bad acid reflux and was also dealing with multiple health issues. I couldn’t sing for almost a year and I didn’t know why. One day, I had a nervous breakdown at work (I was a server), quit my job, rented my room out to a friend and went back home. I went into a pretty serious depression and stayed back home with my parents for 2 months. I also realized that a lot of my health issues were probably caused by an eating disorder. I finally admitted to myself that I had a problem and started taking action to get better. Once I started feeling a bit better, I moved back to Toronto where I had built a life and swore to myself that I would never get a job other than music again. I had worked myself into the ground doing something I wasn’t passionate about and completely burned out. My health issues caused me to be unable to sing and I felt completely hopeless. I did NOT want to EVER feel that way again! My recovery definitely wasn’t a straight line and I still struggle to put my health and well-being first but I’ve come a long way and I’m working on getting better every single day.
How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?
I like to share on social media when I go on hikes or do a few other things for my health. I also found that participating in challenges for a certain # of days always motivates me. Every time I do a 100 day challenge or something along those lines, I make sure to share on social media and encourage everyone to take part in it with me!
In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?
I try to be as vulnerable as I can so that my fans feel connected to me and less alone in what they are going through. I find it very easy to put other people on pedestal and forget that they too have problems and mountains to climb. Especially in this day and age where social media is very prevalent, everyone shares their highlight reel and it’s really easy to feel like everyone is doing better than you are. Of course, that is usually far from the truth so I try to share my struggles as well, not just my highlight reel. Also, I try sharing as much as I can in my story, asking questions in my posts, etc.
Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?
Definitely my boyfriend and parents. I’m very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. I don’t like sharing my struggles with people close to me but they can always sense when something is wrong.
Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how it's changed your life now?
Drinking way too much coffee and not prioritizing sleep thinking that it’s ok to live life on 3 hrs of sleep (eye roll emoji) lol.
My sleeping habits have always been pretty messed up. My parents tell me I was dealing with night terrors as a toddler and I remember spending countless nights wide awake as a kid. Sleeping has never been easy so I started skipping on it. When I started college, I started drinking coffee and energy drinks so I didn’t see the point in tossing and turning in bed for hours. I even tried polyphasic sleeping at one point (taking a nap every few hours and teaching your body to go into REM sleep right away so you don’t have to spend 8 hrs in bed at night). It was absolutely torturous!! I would not recommend it.
A few years ago, I started getting up in the morning and was even part of that 5am club for a couple years. Even though I’m a night person and have always been a night owl! Getting up in the morning, only drinking 2 coffees a day, also not too late in the day and going to bed at night has really been a game changer because I was able to condition my body to a schedule that almost never changes. It’s definitely difficult to keep up on tour but I always try my best to not go back to my old habits otherwise my health issues resurface and that’s no good for my singing career. Since cutting back on coffee and having a better sleep schedule, my acid refluxes aren’t burning my throat and affecting my voice anymore and I’m able to enjoy the sun which is very helpful to my wellbeing. Living in California definitely helps as well!
Is there a song, book, movie, show or anything that always gives you the motivation you need?
A book that has really helped me is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s really helped me focus on changing my identity instead of just accomplishments. When you change how you see yourself, it makes for lasting changes as opposed to when you just accomplish something great and go back to your old habits shortly after.
Is there a song, book or movie that always gives me the motivation I need ? If there is such a thing, I have yet to find it haha Motivation is something that comes and goes, discipline is what helps you keep moving forward even when motivation has left you.
What is the mantra of 2022?!
“I deserve the best” I always like to remind myself that if I have a dream, no matter how crazy, that dream was given to me because it’s somehow possible for me!! I find it really easy to forget that when you look at the huge mountain you have to climb to get to where you want to go, become who you want to become, etc.
Give all the inside scoop of your latest project!
I have a song almost ready to release and I’m so excited to share with the world!! It’s a bit of an edgier style than what I dared to put out in the past and the message is also different. I feel like I went from trying to encourage people to do what’s best for them and to take the steps necessary to better their life to just showing people that it’s ok not to be ok. Ignoring your emotions and not talking about your dark moments gives the impression that you don’t have problems and it makes others feel like there is something wrong with them. So I feel like showing people that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay is where I’m at with everything.
We want to thank you for joining us here and are so excited about what we see from you next! Leave us with your socials!!
Thank you for having me and spreading happy and healthy vibes!! We need more of those in the world!
Here are my links: