Victoria Duffield performing Sunday at PNE: Teen pop star still finds success surreal

Abbotsford teen performing at Playland festival

- Summer Playland Festival at the PNE July 6-8 with two stages and seven acts per day. Tickets include access to 30 rides and attractions. For complete schedule visit spf2012.ca.

FOR many 17-year-olds the idea of hanging out in limousines at the Juno Awards, appearing on MuchMusic, performing in hockey arenas and presenting an award at one of Canada's biggest music award ceremonies is nothing but a dream.

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For Abbotsford native Victoria Duffield it's a reality.

"It's happening faster than I thought," she says. "It's surreal to me still. I am thankful for everything that I have accomplished . . . I just sit back and think about everyone who has helped me get to where I am."

Since the September release of her popular song "Shut Up And Dance" the teenage pop singer has had an outstanding year.

"I still get excited hearing my songs on the radio," Duffield says. "I am not used to that yet."

On Sunday, July 8 Duffield will be performing at the PNE as part of the Summer Playland Festival. It will be her first performance ever in Vancouver.

"I've done one show here in Abbotsford since August," Duffield says. "I have gone to Playland for so many summers and now to think that I am part of the entertainment for that is super exciting for me."

The festival lineup includes Joe Jonas, Carly Rae Jepsen, Gym Class Heroes, Marianas Trench, Kaylee Johnston, and OneRepublic and others.

"The Jonas Brothers were the first ever concert that I ever went to, at Rogers Arena," she adds. "It's cool to be a part of the same showcase as them."

The following day she will be in Alberta performing at the Calgary Stampede.

So far Duffield has three singles, "Shut Up and Dance," "Fever" and "Last Christmas." "Shut Up and Dance" has over two million views on YouTube since being released last September. Last week she released her latest single "Break My Heart."

"It has a really catchy chorus to it," she says. "It's a dance a song so it will get everybody up and moving."

While "Break My Heart" is an upbeat dance song there is a personal meaning behind it according to Duffield.

"I reflected it to one of a friend's relationship experiences, so it has meaning for me," she says. "I find a way to connect with all the songs that I am writing."

The 17-year-old had the opportunity to present an award at the MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVA's) in Toronto on June 17. Duffield was also nominated at the MMVA's for Pop Video of the Year and was in the running for the Most Streamed Video of the Year for "Shut Up and Dance."

"I wasn't expecting a nomination this year, so that was very surprising," she says.

Performing in front of people is nothing new for her. Duffield began dancing when she was only two-years-old.

At the age of seven Duffield was performing in local competitions. In 2010 she was a top six finalist on YTV's The Next Star.

"I always wanted to be an entertainer," Duffield says.

"I knew that when I was very young and my parents saw that in me."

Growing up Duffield was influenced by handful of musicians such as Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. However, there was one artist who had a big impact on her.

"Britney Spears," she says. "For me being on stage is more than just singing, it's performing and having that whole entertainment package. I really admire her ability to command a stage and the singing the dancing incorporated together really impacted me."

Duffield wrote her most popular song "Shut Up and Dance" with Ryan Stewart, who has also worked with Carly Rae Jepsen and Suzie McNeil. Duffield has also collaborated with Rob Wells, Jodi Marr and Rob Stevenson on material.

Aside from her careers in singing and dancing Duffield is also an actress. She has appeared in television shows such as Smallville, Cold Squad, The Haunting Hour, Supernatural, and was involved in a series of TV

commercials.

"I have been a hand model in toy commercials." Duffield says. "I've taken advantage of every opportunity I could."

At the moment the pop singer is hard at work on her first album which she says will be released in August.

"I am looking forward to taking this album and bringing it places," Duffield says. "It will have dance songs and there will be a mix of some slower tracks. I can't wait for my listeners to take it all in and hear what I've been working on."

The Abbotsford teen was signed by Warner Music Canada last April. Duffield says that being signed to a major label has helped her in many ways. She no longer worries about how or if her music will get the right amount of exposure.

"Having my label being able to support me has been huge," Duffield says. "I am really involved in everything that happens."

Her involvement includes everything from deciding which photos to use for iTunes singles, to selecting the songs on her upcoming album.

"It's probably widened my list of things to think about and do but I love it and it's all very enjoyable," she adds.

Duffield, who will be entering grade 12, is going to be very busy this fall. Beginning in September she will embark on her first Canadian tour with American band Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson, and fellow Canadian Tyler Medeiros. Duffield will make stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and London, Ont.

Just like every other 17-year-old Duffield still has to attend high school even though she is a musician in demand.

"The singing, the school work and the acting and the challenge is balancing it all. It can be stressful," Duffield says. "I love what I do and it's all worth it."

"It's so easy to be discouraged because if you think about it I am from a small town and what are the chances of my dream coming true," she adds. "I knew I wanted to do this and it's going happen. Working hard is something I have always done."

For more information visit www.victoriaduffield.com or follow her on twitter @vduffield.

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