Viktoria Modesta – pop’s bravest chanteuse? The Latvian born siren has recently made a tricky transition from the modelling world (despite having her leg amputated as a child) into the music industry and stamps her own signature style to a modern pop sonance. Wonderland sat down with the singer/songwriter – recently voted one of six best unsigned UK artists by Channel 4’s Evo Music Rooms – to talk about her heavy involvement with the bustling London clubbing scene and her striking fashion faculty, ahead of her debut single release in May.
How are you finding the transition from modelling to music making?
The transition to music from working in fashion wasn’t an easy one, mainly due to public perception out there, which is… if you’re a young girl posing for pictures, the chances of you having what it takes to get into the music industry as a credible artist are slim.
Tell us about your modelling career.
It was introduced to me at the age of six, when I still lived in Latvia. I went to performing arts school because my Gran wanted me to play piano. When puberty kicked in around the time I came to London in 1999, I dismissed
music initially as I was a bit of a wild child and found sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll were much more exciting than playing sheet music.
Did the leg amputation temper your determination to pursue it?
The whole leg situation most importantly was a personal and health issue that’s always been there, and did dominate most of my childhood. I believe in turning negatives into positives, so for me having a long history of
health problems and being in my teens I was desperately looking to change my situation and take some control over my body and my future. My love of fashion and beauty now had this element of extreme that made me feel that different is good and doing what feels right regardless of everyone else is the way.
Who influences your sound?
When I was growing up, there was mostly purists [around me] that only listened to one type of music and were into only one scene. Now most people including myself have so much different music on their iPod. My generation are into a diverse range of styles. When I get into the studio I don’t have rules, if it sounds hot and I like it I don’t care what genre it comes [in]. The first record I owned was by The Prodigy. My recent capsules of sound have been a mix of R&B beats, analogue synths and pop lines with epic strings.
You have a very striking image, with immaculate attention to detail. How important is fashion to you and your music?
Fashion and your appearance is your leopard spots. Without external expression we would all be a sea of brown and beige. Every detail and every shape creates a reference and a sense of association with something. Like my music, my style is a cocktail of everything I’ve ever liked. Mother nature can be great, but I prefer to take control of my appearance.
You say that you’re music is a modern twist on pop with lots of catchy, melodic hooks. What can we expect from the forthcoming debut album?
So far I’m expecting a lot of light and shade from it, emotion, dark sultry tracks, i just wanna have a few good time tracks aswell as some heavier productions that are more music led, with new collaborations coming I’d really like to explore more sounds and mix it up and experiment.
“Only You” is out on May 13th
Words: Shane Hawkins
Images: Joseph Sinclair and Andreas Stavrinides