Victoria Duffield may still be in high school, but the 17-year-old pop singer has her career path laid out once she graduates.
The Abbotsford-raised entertainer - who is performing at the SASSY Awards in Surrey this Friday, Oct. 19 - is on track to become a radio sensation following a nationwide tour and the release of her debut album, Shut Up and Dance.
"It's been great - lots of firsts, and it's been an exciting ride for me," she said with enthusiasm.
"I'm graduating this year with my class, but my life is definitely a lot different than everyone else who's walking through the hallways. I've always loved a busy schedule and craziness - it's always been something that I'm used to."
Growing up in a family of five, Duffield came from a musical home and quickly fell in love with performance at a young age.
"A big influence of mine as an artist was Britney Spears, as well as Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson - just those people that use dancing and just have that full entertainment aspect to them," she said.
Inspired by the best in the business, she took up dancing and singing classes, and tried out at numerous talent competitions, including the Now-sponsored B.C. Junior Talent Search. Her big break came on the third season of YTV's The Next Star, a singing contest for youth 14 and under, in which she placed second.
Last year, she signed a record deal with Warner Music Canada and just released her debut album, Shut Up and Dance, last month. The album has already spawned three singles: "Feel," "Break My Heart" and the title track.
The talented songstress just finished a cross-country tour with Nickelodeon boy band Big Time Rush and 15-yearold Aussie pop singer Cody Simpson.
"It was my first tour and it was so exciting for me to be performing in the big arenas," she said. "Performing at Rogers Arena (had) probably the most impact for me because I go to see concerts there. To be performing in that stadium was a huge moment for me."
Now Duffield has her sights set on the Bell Performing Arts Centre as the musical headliner of the SASSY Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of Surrey and White Rock youth. She's sharing the stage Friday with the Freshh hip-hop dance crew and Surrey rock band Tommy Alto.
She said she holds local performances close to her heart and that they're a reminder of how far she's come in her music career thus far.
"It's been many, many years of hard work," she said. "I've always been performing around my hometown, I was doing shows all the time. It's fun going back and finally doing some more local shows again. I miss doing that."
Tickets for the SASSY event Friday can be purchased through local youth groups, which receive $10 back on every ticket purchased. Alternatively, tickets are on sale at the venue box office, online at bellperformingartscentre.com or by phone at 1-866-229-7424. email@example.com