After a week long recording session at the studio, Victoria Landey sits down with us to explain the ideals behind her career as singer and songwriter, Shotgun Tori. She begins by saying “it all became solid during that lucid moment in an otherwise crazy mind”.
Having first discovered music at age 12, Victoria used to sing in the school choir, and soon after picked up a guitar, and began her love affair which continues today. She describes herself during this period as a “Recovering Catholic” constantly feeling the need to break out of the mould, which had been impressed on her after attending a convent with so many other girls.
At age 17 she moved to London, where she intended on going for a gap year that quickly and comfortably turned into 6 years. During this period she tells us how she gave up music 3 times, feeling very disheartened and unable to deal with the rejection of trying to “make it” in the London club scene.
She made the long trip back to her hometown of Johannesburg where she enrolled herself in school and earned herself a degree in Production and Broadcasting. She found steady employment as a junior production assistant and started dabbling in music again in her spare time. She gigged casually with a couple of bands and continued living her life.
Her huge turning point, as she explains it, is when she got sick. A moment of awakening. One of those epiphany moments people talk about, where she decided she wanted to tour and make music with her life. She decided she would work to make money, video-editing on the side, but she would put her energy and love into her first passion, playing guitar and songwriting.
Shotgun Tori has since recorded her first EP, released late 2011 entitled “Are We Fine”, and is adamant that there’s no ways she’s ever giving up again.
Her solo vision is strong and focused. She believes whole-heartedly in her potency as a solo artist, and is very mindful of the fact that right now, she doesn’t want to “hand over power” to a band. She wants to test herself, and build her character.
She has set very ambitious goals for herself, having completed 100 shows in a very short time toward the end of 2011 last year, with friend and mentor Gil Hockman. With influences including Leonard Cohen, Rambling Bones, The Carpenters and The Waifs, she seems to be putting herself in great stead for a long, illustrious career.
Victoria ends our interview by explaining the origins of her name. A truthful and bare-all story that tells this fantastic musicians story perfectly - “I got the name Shotgun Tori while in a bed with a woman and two other men. We were talking about going to a function as couples and one of the guys shouted out “shotgun Tori!” and this became so symbolic for me, I wanted to shotgun myself! It became symbolic for me, choosing myself. Self sacrifice is what I know I've been taught it all my life - You’re born alone and you’ll die alone, you might as well choose yourself.”