As a child in rural Muskoka, Ontario, no one would have guessed Victoria would grow up to be named the Canadian Country Music Association’s (CCMA) 2010 Female Artist of the Year.
“I listened to nothing but antique phonograph records from my Dad’s collection when I was a kid. We spent a lot of time chopping wood to survive the winters in our old wood-heated cottage, and then we’d sing Bach in 4-part harmony around the dinner table at night.”
It wasn’t until adolescence that Victoria discovered rock n’ roll in a high school band. With an inextinguishable passion for music and songwriting, not quelled by a Zoology degree from the University of Toronto, Victoria worked an array of odd jobs from waiting tables to painting houses to save up enough money to pursue her dream of a career as a professional songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I’ve paid my dues. I’ve lived in roach-infested apartments and driven rust-bucket cars. But it was all worth it the first time I heard one of my songs on the radio.”
Victoria scored her first major hit with Sara Evans’ ASCAP and SOCAN-award-winning “Saints & Angels.” Labeled “one of the best songwriters in the business” by Nashville’s Music Row Magazine, Victoria’s impressive catalogue of hits now includes X-Factor winner Tate Stevens’ “Ordinary Angels,” Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record-breaking country debut “Come On Over,” One More Girl’s breakout hit “When It Ain’t Raining,” Doc Walker’s chart-topping “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and Johnny Reid’s smash “Dance With Me” (for which Victoria was named 2010 CCMA Songwriter of the Year), as well as cuts by Terri Clark, Julie Roberts, Kristy Lee Cook and more.
Victoria’s self-produced, self-penned debut record When You Can Fly made her 2009’s most nominated female artist in Canadian country music. To support the critically acclaimed album, Victoria toured with superstars Reba McEntire, Randy Travis and Johnny Reid.
“Suddenly, I was alone with my guitar in front of 10,000 people. I just sang my songs from the heart, the same way I do when I write them, the same way I do in my own living room. And all of those people – they went there with me emotionally. It’s amazing to feel a room that big hush to complete silence. It was magic and I was hooked.”
Banks has been nominated for 11 CCMA awards on the strength of her albums When You Can Fly and Never Be The Same, her 2011 sophomore release.
"Music has always been my medicine, my way of connecting with other people and sharing the human experience. At its best, music shows us that we're not alone and reminds us of what's important in life.”