From Los Angeles, Ross Victory is a singer, songwriter, and author who combines his passions and skills to tell stories in music and written formats for listeners and readers worldwide. Victory has built his creator platform brick by brick through loss and creative writing as a tool to cope with life’s unexpected circumstances.
Victory’s artistic style is reflective and sincere, drawing from trials he has faced personally. Because of his, Victory urges himself and his audience to confront the more profound, sometimes hidden parts of themselves. Victory incorporates aspects of his personal life and his healing journey in his art, which is authentic and unique.
Ross Victory uses his voice, platform, and innate connection to the soul to speak on human experiences and how in all situations, growth is still possible even through life’s difficult moments.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I’ve been singing since I was two years old. My mom said she knew I could sing when I sang Happy Birthday on a family member’s voicemail.
By seven, I had recorded a “mixtape” for my first-grade teacher (also my secret crush), Miss Bland. I performed talent shows throughout middle and high school. I was a nerd, always writing songs and producing beats and using the money I made working at AMC theaters to record in the studio.
In 2007, I was a Top 5 finalist in a Myspace singing competition for Step 2 Up The Streets Soundtrack by Atlantic Records. Although I did not win, that contest got me started on developing my creator platform.
I studied marketing in college, so I decided to intern at Power 106 radio station and ASCAP to learn more about marketing and publishing. At the time, these internships seemed like a way to marry practical work experience with my interests.
After college, in a mild state of crisis from my parent’s divorce after thirty years, I moved to Seoul, South Korea. I began teaching English as my first job after college when my music and job goals didn’t pan out.
After my dad and brother died, I began to look back on my life and asked some hard questions about myself, including my interests and the work I wanted to do. I remembered my love for creative writing and music and released my first book, Views from the Cockpit, in 2019.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I grew up listening to 94.7 The Wave radio station in Los Angeles. The Wave radio station played Soft Rock, Quiet Storm, and Contemporary R&B. Babyface, Anita Baker, Sade, and Donnel Jones were just a handful of artists who were always on the radio.
So, I feel most at home singing easy-flowing music with pleasant vocals and rememberable melodies. Perhaps because that’s all I know. Quiet Storm R&B isn’t the most popular genre in 2021, but I think it’s wide open. I feel like I can write anything, so don’t be surprised if you hear me rapping or if I mix it up on a trap beat.
As far as writing and literature, I like descriptions and complexity and stories with undeniable themes. As I’ve developed as a writer and been inclined to read more, I resonate with Langston Hughes’s style and the approach he took during the Harlem Renaissance era. Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison were all inspirational black writers whose message we need again in the Black Lives Matter era.
I enjoy telling stories about family, adventure, self-discovery, and stories that exist to motivate and inspire. In every culture and religion, stories have played critical roles in constituting meaning, constructing identity, and prescribing behavior. So I ask myself often, what can I do with my author platform to promulgate positive narratives? I can’t end world hunger, but I can imagine a world with less pain and more acceptance.
I’m tired of the oppressive and slave narratives, and I hope I can put a dent in positive storytelling by using my background as a source of inspiration for anyone interested.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR CREATIVE WRITERS WHO SEEK TO BUILD A CREATOR PLATFORM?
Yes! I’ve realized that things take time to build, and you never know who will be impacted by your writing or your sheer presence. Also, impact exists on many levels, and not everyone you reach will let you know you got them.
Someone told me long ago not to reach and create naturally and effortlessly–to flow with my message. So I advise any creator to exist in your zone to access authenticity.
Also, Discipline and rest play a vital role in the successful completion of projects. When you’re tired, exhausted, or overwhelmed with trying to make an idea, character, or melody work, take a rest. The final project always looks, sounds, and reads differently than the initial idea. And sometimes, the initial idea needs time to marinate. If you let it marinate, sometimes you see opportunities to make it better.
Finally, do not be surprised when friends and family do not support you, like your Instagram post or comment. We’ve heard successful people say it all the time – believe in your craft and be willing to fail publicly. No one else is responsible for your success or demise. A lot of art is a personal development exercise in believing in yourself when the crowd goes quiet. As I’ve progressed through these books and music releases, that sentiment rings accurately.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I’ve tried to stay busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, I published three books under my independent imprint VFTC Universe: Panorama, Egg, and Father & Son. I also have a lot of pre-recorded music that I plan to release this year. I’ve been filling up my catalog, so I have material to share when the gates open.
At the moment, I’m leaning into turning my brand into a business by learning how to build landing pages and funnels to expand the reach of my books and music. I never thought I would be thinking about conversion rates and e-mail opening rates, but here I am!
For the immediate future, I just put the finishing touches on a self-help book called “Your Story is Your Clout, Your Voice is Your Power.” This book will help readers use creative writing as a first step to develop their brand. As I described, creative writing has been key to my personal development. The more confident I felt in being alive, the more comfortable I was with taking risks.
I am also working on my online merch store called Books & Bangers. Books & Bangers is a book and music-themed brand offering apparel and stationery products to inspire creative expression and literacy. I will offer casual and comfortable outerwear and offer stationery like notepads, pens, and backpacks to drive home the importance of creative writing for my supporters and the next generation at large.
HOW CAN SUPPORTERS CONTACT YOU?
For a limited time, I am offering free e-books for creators in need of self-empowerment available here.