“Music helps so many of us, and if I can be helping people with my own experiences, I think it’s wonderful.”AKA V (Vanessa Huneault)
One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences that an artist can have is that moment when they share their creation with the world. Thankfully, AKA V (Vanessa Huneault) was brave enough to overcome any obstacles in her way and emerge with her beautiful debut single “Always Go Home.”
I recently conducted an interview with AKA V in which she shared her first hair-raising experience with performing live, changing life paths, and blazing boldly forward.
And be sure to check out “Always Go Home (Lyric Video)” after the interview!
Who does your act consist of?
AKA V is my solo project so…. myself Vanessa Huneault. I have been doing a lot of acoustic performances to promote my new single and I usually have my songwriting partner (Patrick Phillips) play guitar and sing backup for me.
Where are you from?
I’m from a small town in Québec called Rouyn-Noranda. I’m now based in Toronto, Ontario.
Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?
I started singing and playing piano from a very young age. As far as I can remember my first experience with music was when I was 4 years old.
I performed a song on stage in front of 300 people with my art school. Then they asked me to join in on someone else’s song to clap along (seeing the video, I’m way too young to understand what I’m supposed to do, I was way off time… lol). Anyway, during that song, lighting equipment fell from the ceiling (didn’t hurt anybody, thank god) but that was way too much for the little 4-year-old me. I told my mom I never wanted to do this again and stopped my singing lessons. I only started singing again at the age of 19.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from
what you listen to now?
Growing up I listened to what most 90’s Canadian kid listen to: Spice Girls, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Simple Plan, etc. I remember hearing a lot of Celine Dion in the house, Destiny’s Child, Shakira and even Andrea Bocelli (my dad loves opera). I’m sure my parents played a lot more but for some reason this is what I remember.
I went through a lot of different phases during my teens (punk, French rap, death metal, pop) but I think what stuck with me is Rock & the 90’s grunge. I’ve always listened to the radio a lot and I still do, so pop has always been part of my life as well.
What was the first song that you ever sang?
I was quite young, so I’m not sure, but a song I remember is “Bella la brebis.” It’s a French song about a sheep that they teach kids when they start singing, I guess.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
My times in College. Back in Québec, I studied sciences and it’s not a piece a cake. Through my long studying sessions (sometimes 15 hours) I would take breaks to sing along with Kate Voegele. Sometimes, it’d be 3am in the morning, and I’d be singing at the top of my lungs testing my skills. That’s what made me realize that I was in the wrong line of work.
How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?
I’m not sure exactly what type of music that is. I love rock but I write mainly pop tunes, so I guess a mix of that plus my writing partner’s influences as well. This makes for a very interesting songwriting process! I don’t think my music is a very specific style, I write from the heart and however it turns out is what it is.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you
describe your music for the public audience?
Alternative pop rock with a country vibe.
Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?
Play live performances. I love the creative process but performing on stage is what I love the most.
Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?
Have you been involved in any benefit performances?
Not yet, no.
What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been so far in your
Having my single “Always Go Home” on radio in the UK and Canada.
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
What are your songs about and what general themes do they talk about?
I love to write songs with a positive message and to help people through hard times, because like everybody else I have to fight my internal demons too. I also write songs that are told as a story or about something that happened to me. Love songs are not my forte, and I usually stay away from those.
Why do you choose to focus on these themes?
I wouldn’t say I focus on these themes, it’s just what comes naturally to me. Music helps so many of us, and if I can be helping people with my own experiences, I think it’s wonderful. For the story songs, well, who doesn’t like a good story?
What has been your strong influence to continue performing?
I do admire many performers, but I absolutely love performing, so I really don’t have an influence motivating me at this time.
Does anyone in particular influence you?
Musically, no. I try to do my own thing. But my partner in crime, my boyfriend, who’s also my songwriting partner and my manager, we make a good team. Whatever I can’t do, he does, and what ever he can’t do, I can. He also inspires me to always keep going no matter what. “You make it happen, always find a way,” he says.
What are your immediate music career goals?
My single “Always Go Home” has just been released in Canada at the beginning of April. This summer I will be touring across the country doing promotions. I will be releasing my song on radio in the UK on May 6th, and releasing my second single “ Sunlight” in Canada in July. I’m also set to star in the TV series “Laurel”, and will be shooting the trailer in August, with production starting in 2017.
What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?
The biggest challenge for me so far has been quitting my plan B. There is no other option. This is what I want to do so I just gotta go for it. There is no time to waste with a plan B. Coming from a small isolated town where the English world and entertainment industry seems like a different dimension and where the mentality is very conservative, that mind set was very hard to acquire.
What type of fan base do you have?
This is my first single so I’m just starting to build my fanbase. I’ve been doing a lot of shows and so far it seems to be predominantly females, 18-35.
Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice
for the youth of today?
Please don’t drop the instruments. Technology has done amazing things for music but there is nothing like the energy of live music with live musicians. Please keep that alive!
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
From the moment I decided to become a singer, I’ve dedicated my life to music. I’m boring that way: P
What do you do with your time away from music?
Music is my life! Aside from that, I love learning new things. Since social medias has become more and more important, I learned how to use photoshop and make websites. I love it. I’m also a very active person. I was never really good at any sport but I still love moving. Working out, running, yoga, dancing, skating, walking, swimming, anything that’s available to me really. Lately my favourite thing to do has been going for runs in different cities while touring. It so much easier to run longer distances when you’re preoccupied by everything new around you.
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
Change people’s life for the better, however I can accomplish that
Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with fans
If you want to see more about me and what I do you can visit my website and follow me on social media:) :