In an exclusive interview with Latina.com, half Puerto Rican actress Victoria Justice, 17, talks about what it really feels like to be young and famous, why she admires people who aren't afraid to be who they are and (sort of) takes a dig at her fellow Disney starlets by declaring, “I don’t want to sing boring pop songs—I want to sing songs that are meaningful to me.”
What is your Nickelodeon show, Victorious, about?
Victorious is about this seemingly average girl named Tori Vega who has a sister that always takes the spotlight. All of a sudden, Tori gets thrown into this very elite performing arts high school called “Hollywood Arts,” and she realizes she has a huge passion for music, dancing and anything creative.
With all of your success, can you relate to being “average?”
Well, in my mind, I think I’m average. A lot of people assume that you’re a lot greater than you are just because you’re on TV. People assume that people in television and film have this, like, godly presence or something, which I find hysterical because I’m a 17-year-old girl who probably doesn’t know what I’m doing half the time. I don’t take myself too seriously. I enjoy every moment for what it is because I know that in this industry, it can all go away in a heartbeat.
Are you working on your debut album now?
I am doing a bunch of writing sessions and working with different producers. Some of the songs that I’m writing are going to be on my show, Victorious, and then, obviously, the type of music that I’ll do on my solo album will be totally different from the show because it represents me as a person. I’m going to start working on my solo album pretty soon and I’m so excited. The album for the show should come out in early 2011, and my solo album should be out in late 2011.
What’s the sound of your personal album?
It’s going to be different from what people expect me to do. The direction that we’re going in is an edgy, more mature sound. It has an old school Annie Lennox feel to it. I don’t want to sing boring pop songs—I want to sing songs that are meaningful to me. That’s why I want to write my own material, because when I perform it onstage, I want to be able to really connect to it. There’s going to be a lot of stuff on there that I’ve had to deal with as a teenager. People are going to be able to relate to it.
What artists do you look up to?
I look up to Mick Jagger because he’s an amazing performer and he’s such an individual. I respect him and admire him eternally. I also like M.I.A. I admire people that are not afraid to be their own person and that don’t really care what other people think and are going to do what makes them happy.