For some, art is about being pretty and abstract and being valued at least one million dollars. For others, art is about who we are at our core. Some say it’s about process. Art is about how we’ve transmuted pain into beauty via a written, visual, or musical medium. Few artists can capture meaning and emotion to form a song or literature; even fewer can see projects to completion; even fewer create memorable and stand-out projects with social implications. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ross Victory.
Ross Victory is a singer/songwriter turned author from Southern California. After the back to back loss of his father and brother, Ross dove into self-discovery and healing practices reigniting his passion for writing and music production. Ross uses his unique voice and social intersections to inspire and entertain listeners and readers through Urban Adult Contemporary music, and literature, with a focus on non-fiction and thematic short stories.
He is the author of the father-son themed Views from the Cockpit and bisexual-themed social criticism piece Panorama: The Missing Chapter. Today we speak to him about his latest written project, the horror-themed short story, Egg, and his song Ready for Love.
Tell us about your new short story Egg and your new song Ready for Love.
Egg is a short story that came together very fast. I saw the topic of writing about Siamese twins on a writer blog around the same time mosquitos began to bite me. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be wild if I scratched a mosquito bite and a human began to grow out of it. Super creepy. Within two weeks, the story Egg had come to life. It just flowed out. Egg is about a twelve-year-old boy named Nakoa Taylor who discovers a mosquito bite in the center of his chest. The mosquito bite quickly grows into an evil Siamese twin called Marcus and takes him and his family on a ride for their lives. The title is available everywhere books are sold.
Ready for Love is a song I wrote back in May. At its core it’s about being able to receive Love. A lot of us pursue Love and want an emotional, passionate, relationship, but sometimes we aren’t ready. This song is about two people, one of whom is not prepared for the love they seek. I’m expressing that my Love will remain until he or she is ready to receive it. “When you’re ready for love, I’m here,” are the words I sing.
How has the 2020 pandemic affected you?
It has been disastrous, but at the same time, I have grown so much personally and business wise. There have been waves of inspiration and waves of depression. Some days I wake up and can’t predict my mood. With the horrible leadership surrounding COVID, the election of a century, and daily isolation, it has been rough.
At the same time, I have felt pushed to see my projects through and invest in building my creative brand for the long term. I’ve also established a healthier relationship with social media. I used to get triggered scrolling through posts of friends and colleagues. I’d roll my eyes and participate in a lot of low vibrational judgments. If I feel those feelings coming up, I sit with the post and ask myself what about this post or person is triggering me and ask myself why I am so pressed. I try to sit with that feeling to heal it and move past it.
What has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your life/career?
Life has taught me the importance of moments and legacy. It took me years to understand that losing my dad and brother within three years is significant. I’ve gotten more in touch with my emotions and expressing them. Life has taught me that people don’t remember what we fear or what we wanted to accomplish. They remember what we did and how we made them feel. What they did and how they made me feel are things that bubble up for me when I think about my dad and my brother. So I need to create, create, create, and do my very best to be kind and non-judgmental with people and ideas outside of my vision. The last judgment of our lives comes from our actions and words.
Career has taught me the importance of a team. No team, no dream. It takes an artist or a leader (business or otherwise) to visualize the concept and mobilize the team to achieve it. It’s essential to use intentional words and messaging. It’s also crucial for the team to see you sweat, get dirty in the trenches and for leaders to speak to the unique talents and dynamics of the personalities on your team. I like to build a team around a core value or idea while also giving people a chance to express themselves wholly in their strengths. The importance of excellence and quality cannot be overstated.
What do you hope your books will do for others?
I hope to empower people to realize that they are the captains of their journeys and ‘the answer’ to our Pain tends to be in our story. If we share it, not only do we free ourselves, but we help others. Trauma, abuse, weight of social labels, and history all experiences, exist to guide us along our path if we look at them. I hope people feel inspired to take a step toward creative expression. I hope people (men) feel inspired to seek therapy or counseling to enrich themselves. I hope people understand that everything that makes our life hard to bear can be turned it into creative opportunity with work. And although Views from the Cockpit and Panorama were non-fiction projects, Egg was a challenge for me to writing fiction, so I hope people can be entertained as well.
I want to continue to create stories that explore emotional and complex topics. I like to provoke but also soothe readers. It would be awesome to screenwrite a film from a book I’ve written and produce the film and participate in all the musical decisions for the film. If one person can avoid the mental anguish I suffered as a child, I will feel accomplished. I want to become a key (black male) producer, investor, and business person. I want to invest in cafés, bars, support groups, and tangible ways to build a community for underrepresented creatives. It’s also essential to teach creatives in disadvantaged communities how to be entrepreneurs so that they don’t need to depend on others financially. Ultimately, I want to be “the Black” Anthony Bourdain that travels the world, documenting culture, trying new foods, and learning new languages, too.
Ready for Love is a passionate song that can easily be played on the radio or in an elevator. Your music ranges in style and subject matter. How did you get started in music?
I’ve been singing since two years old. I began writing music and producing beats in high school. Around sixteen, I wrote and recorded a song about a nine-year-old girl who died from gang violence in Richmond called “Cecilia Brown.” I submitted the song to the Song of the Year’s songwriting competition.
Competing against a sea of experienced adult songwriters, I was awarded the distinction of Runner Up. After this small validation, I began to produce and write songs and submit them to online competitions for feedback, which helped me find my direction, style, and voice. In 2007, I entered a Myspace singing competition for a chance to be featured on the Step Up 2 The Streets Music Soundtrack produced by Atlantic Records; I reached the Top 5 male finalists. I’m a writer first and a singer second. While pursuing a Marketing degree from Cal State LA, I interned in the Sales & Marketing team at Power 106 radio station in Los Angeles.
My interest in writing and music applies to the creative process, the therapeutic benefits of music, and the administration process. For nearly ten years, I forgot the healing properties of music. The loss of my father reminded me of how relaxing the creative process can be. In 2020, I released six songs, and Ready for Love will remind us that love can heal chaos.
Do you have any advice for creators looking to get started in building their own brand?
I try to be as authentic as possible and stray away from things that I’m not enthusiastic about. When you’re tired, exhausted, or overwhelmed with trying to make an idea, character, or melody work, consider taking a rest. But don’t forget to come back! Remember, the final project always looks, sounds, and reads differently than the idea. Doubt and exhaustion are stages in the creation process. Also, do not be surprised when friends and family do not overtly support you, like your Instagram post or comment. Sometimes your fearlessness or excellence will trigger their regrets. No-one else is responsible for your success or demise. Your dream, your responsibility.
Contact Info? How can we find you? (social media)?