A February Chat with Vic Allen
Vic Allen is a singer-songwriter originating from the UK, Norwich to be exact. She thought she was going to be a veterinarian, but then John Mayer happened to her. John Mayer and James Taylor are two of her inspirations. Vic first picked up the guitar as a teenager, and after a trip to America, she was inspired by the rich Country Music scene, and began songwriting.
While still studying at the University of Bristol, Vic began to perform her original material at local open mic nights, and quickly progressed onto gigs at larger venues such as The Fleece and Bristol Harbourfest. After graduating from university, Vic started performing across the UK, including venues in London and festivals such as Buckle and Boots.
Seele Magazine: What made you pick up a guitar and start writing music?
Vic Allen: When I was 19 I went to volunteer on a ranch near Buffalo (New York) and everyone there listened to Country Music. I had never really listened to it before and I became interested in it.
I already played the guitar so when I got to Buffalo everyone was like: "you play the guitar but don't sing- that's weird." So for me, singing and writing came together. I grew up listing to a lot of James Taylor, so a part from that I didn't really listen to Country Music.
SM: Do you feel that university prepared you for your music career?
VA: I went to university to be a vet. I switched to be a zoology major so that I could graduate early, which I did. If I had not been pursuing that degree I don't think I would have go to university.
But being in Bristol, which is where I went to university, the music scene is much bigger than Norwich. So I started performing at Open Mic Nights. I started doing several a week. University didn't prepare me for my music career, but, I was introduced to a larger music scene, which got me performing in front of larger crowds.
SM: What other music genre’s inspire your music?
VA: I grew up listening to a lot of bands- Jimmy Eat World and Fall Out Boy. My favorite artist ever is John Mayer. It's because of him that I picked up a guitar.
SM: Would you love to perform with John Mayer?
VA: I'd love to support him on tour!
SM: What’s the most challenging thing about writing music?
VA: I hate writers block. I have found that leaving lyrics for a few days and coming back to them really helps.
SM: What inspires your music?
VA: A lot of it is about stuff I am going through. Between The Lines, a song that I've just released is inspired by a job that I was working at in an office, a really boring office. My music is about traveling, and it's about the things that I have left behind...
SM: Why do you think that Country Music is still relevant?
VA: I think it's because when you listen to Country Music songs, you're like, "Oh my gosh, that song describes my life so well." It's about the storytelling and the connection that the listener feels when they are listening to it.
Vic has also made a point to stretch her legs in America, especially Nashville to collaborate with other songwriters to further develop her songwriting. Venue highlights in Nashville include The Bluebird Café and The Listening Room.
SM: How important is patience in the music business?
VA: Oh my it's so important. I feel like I should be much further along than where I am. It can be very frustrating. I've got this EP that I want to get out but you have to do things one at a time or else your fan base becomes really board.
In October 2016, Vic independently released a self-written EP titled “The Missing Piece” which received airplay from various radio stations across the country. The EP also caught the attention of the BBC so they’ve invited Vic to play live in their studio.
Over the summer of 2017, Vic launched a successful crowdfunding campaign which allowed her to record her second EP, titled "Between The Lines". This EP is due for release in early 2018.
SM: What Country music artist would you like to perform with?
VA: I really really love Kacey Musgraves.
SM: What are your plans for 2018?
VA: My EP will be out in February. I'll be releasing some tracks as well. And I plan to perform at some festivals this year too.