Victory Boyd - 7/26/19
at City Winery The Wine Garden at City Winery
$25 In Advance & $30 At the Door
VICTORY Some musicians can pinpoint that exact moment when they knew that they wanted to make music their life. That time when the light bulb went off and it became clear that music was destined to be their future. Victory doesn’t have one of those moments. That’s because the singer/songwriter/producer can’t recall a time when music wasn’t part of her life. “It’s the environment I was born into,” Victory offers. “Music has always been there. The gifts that I have were developed because I was in the perfect environment for them to grow. It’s always been the music. “
That passion and focus is joyfully and abundantly clear on Victory’s Roc Nation debut The Broken Instrument, which is set for a June 15th release. Featuring songs written by Victory. The Broken Instrument is an introduction to a new artist blessed with an old soul who, at the age of 23, has been compared to Tracy Chapman, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone and Roberta Flack.
Such is the extent of Victory’s appeal that even before The Broken Instrument hit the streets she had already generated notable buzz. Her cover of Stevie Wonder’s song “Overjoyed” clocked over 3 million views on Facebook and 23,000 on YouTube, she counts among her fans BET’s Debra Lee, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts- who featured Victory on a web exclusive segment and activist/CNN personality Van Jones, who invited Victory to perform at NYC’s famed Apollo Theater as part of his We Rise tour. In addition, Victory has been profiled in Elle Magazine, serves as a 2018 Clark Shoes Ambassador. This spring she will be opening up for Jussie Smollett and later this summer, she will be a featured guest performer at the 2018 Essence Festival in New Orleans. That’s quite a trajectory for an artist who just 18 months ago was singing in Central Park.
Raised in Detroit, Michigan, and the middle child of 8 musically gifted siblings, Victory began singing when she was a toddler. “My family tells this story about when I was two, “Victory laughs, “and I was walking on our lawn singing this gospel song ‘This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made’ over and over”. It’s not surprising that Victory would be drawn to gospel. Her mother and father were founders of the acclaimed Boys and Girls Choirs of Detroit. Although she was technically too young to be an official member, Victory joined the choirs when she was four: “I begged my parents and they broke the rules”. Modeled after the world-famous Boys Choir of Harlem, The Boys and Girls Choirs of Detroit were a mainstay of the Motor City scene and gigged extensively throughout the late 90s to the early 2000s. Yet despite the family’s success Detroit itself was in the grips of a financial crisis and support for the arts was forced to take a back seat. “My Father realized that there were many more financial opportunities (for the arts) in New York City than there were in Michigan”, Victory offers and in 2007 the family made the move to the New York area. For a while the family were back and forth between Michigan and New York. The Boyd’s raised funds on weekend trips to New York to support both their Michigan Choir project and a music camp in upstate Michigan that the family founded called the Shay Lake Music Camp. The music camp and the choirs were still in Michigan, but eventually Victory
and her family made the transition, closed the camp, and settled full time in the New York area.
New York City is home to many musicians and artists alike, before long the Boyd family founded a new musical entity called the Peace Industry Music Group and joined a community of musicians who agreed to give them a slot to perform at the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. There they regularly performed and offered to their many fans their self -produced CDs. It wasn’t long before word began to spread and by 2011 Victory began writing songs and was soon recognized for her unique voice. It’s here that the story takes an only-in-New-York turn. A family friend, by the name of Jeymes Samuel, who is Grammy-winner Seal’s brother, gave a video of Victory, singing Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”, to JAY-Z, who, upon checking it out, summoned Victory to his office where she sang “Feeing Good” and one of her originals, “Weatherman”. It was a whirlwind of improbable activity. Offers Victory, “It all happened really really fast. I was like, is this for real? I don’t even know how to describe it. It was a feeling of nervousness and fear, not because JAY-Z is scary or anything but because he’s one of the most famous people in the world and I was just singing in the park and he wants to meet me. But, there was also this sense of destiny. I’ve trained all my life for this. I knew this was an incredible opportunity. So there’s no way my nervousness is going to get in the way.”
Two weeks after their initial meeting Victory and her family’s company, The Peace Industry Music Group, entered into a partnership with Roc Nation and shortly after that entered the studio to begin work on The Broken Instrument. Asked if she received any advice from Jay-Z Victory replies, “JAY said to stay true to myself and that the best art is made when you’re not trying to be like someone else. I don’t write standard pop songs, they’re unique, and they’re like poems. JAY told me that the songs I write are special and that I shouldn’t worry about trying to conform to what’s on the radio – that I should just be true to myself.” That honesty can be felt throughout the album, starting with the title track that was inspired by a discarded instrument Victory found in the trash.
“My brothers and sisters couldn’t understand why I was so fixated on that instrument. I wasn’t too sure myself, why I thought it was a good idea to take it home with me. I kept trying to convince myself and everyone else that it was a good idea and I realized that the reason I felt the need to pick up this instrument was because there were times in my life when I felt broken and I felt like I was no longer valuable, and I wanted someone to pick up my spirit and fix me. My life is a testament to the fact that broken things can be restored. The broken instrument that I found in the trash helped me to articulate this idea that there’s hope in this world for the broken.” Equally open hearted is “Don’t You Ever”. Speaking of the track Victory says, “the chorus goes don’t you ever, ever, ever doubt that I love you. It’s the story of a girl who has had her heart broken many times and has a hard time receiving love and the moral of the story is, don’t you ever doubt that you’re loved. My songs are just reality, human. There’s hope.”
Also inspiring is the single “Open Your Eyes”. Produced by 9th Wonder and Stephen Blake Kanicka. “Open Your Eyes” is a celebration of life and all its possibilities and its hopefulness and positivity speaks to the very core of who Victory is and what she wants her songs to be about. “I want people to be able to see into my life and see the stories. To see the solutions that are true in my life. Things that work for me and I know can work for you. Everything on the album, all the stories are inspired by me and some situation that I've been through. There’s hope in each story and it’s the hope that I discovered to be available for me in my life. And it's there for you, too. If there’s anything in my story that inspires or encourages you then that’s my goal at the end of the day.”