In our time, don’t you find that the most exciting events, personalities and talents are the ones that prove we’ve all grown past our boundaries and borders and categories?
Age? Just a number, in sports, music, cinema, even business, sometimes. Nationality? Who doesn’t dream of being a citizen of the world? Musical genres? Good music is good music, old or new. Race? The. Most. Yesterday. category of them all.
Vita, the 15-year-old singer from Barbados, is living proof, in her personal history and in her music, that the future of pop is going to unfold in a world without boundaries and limitations.
Fittingly, she plotted her own discovery right here on the borderless World Wide Web, by posting a video and three audio streams of songs she co-wrote and recorded in Barbados. She traveled to New York to sign and record her album with SRP Records, which also discovered the Bajan heroines Rihanna and Shontelle, and developed them as international stars.
Following in their footsteps, she’s confident in the ability of her voice and her music to carry her far in the world. But know this before you know anything: Vita’s voice will be her voice. Big, powerful, honest, smart, observant, distinct, original.
With that voice, Vita has now scored a worldwide recording deal with SRP/Universal Motown through Universal Motown President Sylvia Rhone, who signed such landmark female acts as En Vogue and Brandy to their first major-label contracts. Vita’s first single, “Like Boom,” will hit radio in August, with a full-length debut album scheduled for release in fall 2009. She’’ll be shooting her first video later this month and will then hit the road for an extended radio promo tour both in the U.S. and overseas.
“My parents say I sang right out of the womb,” Vita says, “but I had my first voice lessons about four years ago – operatic training, the first year. I had such a big range of music that I liked, that I just wanted to sing, no matter what the genre was. The lessons gave me confidence — the ability to hear myself, me, and not copy someone else’s style.”
Vita’s musical and career horizon now is as broad as the ocean horizon she views while surfing, scuba diving and walking the beach with her four beloved dogs at home in St. Philip Parish, on the Atlantic coast of Barbados. She carries with her a family background from three continents and the Caribbean (her father is a British commercial pilot and her mother a dentist, of Nigerian and Barbadian heritage) and a limitless fascination for every form of music that becomes evident whenever she discusses her loves in music — and becomes especially obvious when she sings.
Inspired, like so many young talents, by her parents’ record collection, Vita, born Vita Chambers in Canada, was raised in Barbados on both her dad’s rock and roll music and her mom’s R&B, and became an avid YouTube watcher, with the result that Andrea Bocelli, Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, and Pink are as much her musical and vocal heroes as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston. She now laughs off a school choir solo at age 10 that she recalls as a disaster, but it was after singing lead for a band at a school talent show just last year, choosing her friends’ pop-rock favorites like “So What,” “Bleeding Love” and “Hot ‘N’ Cold,” that she resolved to pursue pop music as her profession.
Finding a sympathetic producer to make music to anchor a webpage, co-writing her own songs to express her interest in both rock and electronic music, and delighted by her first creative interactions with musicians, Vita, an obvious self-starter, was nonetheless thunderstruck when in just a couple of months, the Internet buzz around her posted video and songs resulted in a call from SRP Records.
Now mid-way through recording her first album, she voices satisfaction that her danceable yet gutsy pop-rock sound and her visuals are both truthful to her. “The songs are pop, but also with an element of rock. The lyrics are young, everything that goes through a teenager’s mind. I’d like my look to have a vintage and contemporary feel, something familiar, but cool and edgy and new, too. Wherever it goes, it’s got to be honest. I have a lot of female friends, and some have self-confidence issues, so always being true to yourself and comfortable in your skin is something I’m always concerned with.”
Given Vita’s big-picture view of music, it’s somehow not surprising when she also mentions an interest in pediatric neurosurgery: “It’s so fascinating, because there’s so much we don’t know about the brain. And we only use a percentage of it: people who use just 2% more of its capacity are the absolute geniuses.” Here, then, is a girl who wants to get into your head, and expand your mind. Come along quietly. You’ll enjoy the ride. It’s likely to take you around the world — everywhere.