My Stage is My Home: Bergitta Victor on Performance, Growth and African Inspiration Monday 09 January, 2012

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A wise woman knows not to reveal too much, she is comfortable in her mystery. Bergitta Victor has a joyful youthful spirit and presence, but don’t let that fool you, there is definitely more than meets the eye. When I first heard Singer Bergitta Victor’s debut single, “Say Love,” from her latest album, So Happy, […]

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Bergitta Victor

A wise woman knows not to reveal too much, she is comfortable in her mystery. Bergitta Victor has a joyful youthful spirit and presence, but don’t let that fool you, there is definitely more than meets the eye. When I first heard Singer Bergitta Victor’s debut single, “Say Love,” from her latest album, So Happy, I thought I had her music figured out—bohemian folk with an inspiring message. I was too presumptuous; the more I listened, the more layers I saw.  I expected the song “So Happy” to be about taking joy in life’s little blessings, but it actually feels like a sultry “thank you” to her lover. Having seen her performance of “Trouble” with Nneka, I can see why she describes her live shows as an “emotional striptease”—in the video (which is embedded in this post), you can feel how connected they are to the song’s message, jumping on stage and singing with a different intensity than the album version.

Here Bergitta reveals a little more (but not too much) sharing her pride in writing and producing her latest album, how she came to love performance and how her homeland, the Seychelles, inspires her.

I like the nice mix of rhythms throughout your album. I hear a lot of different sounds from reggae to tango. How would you describe your music style?

Acoustic soul with an African touch and a hidden devotion to jazz. I grew up listening to music from Africa, Europe and the States. So, I never really did put my music in any genre. I like being versatile.

What did you want to express about yourself with this album? What does So Happy say about you as an artist?

It definitely says that I am a person who is trying to think positive…today, tomorrow and always.

Making this album made me realize how much I enjoy singing, writing songs, producing and all that. I chose the title not only because of the song “So Happy,” but because I was happy and proud with the result of my album that I wrote all by myself. I also produced it with David Stauffacher, a fantastic Percussionist from Zurich. It was a big step for me.

I’ve learned one thing in the past 15 years, if you want to achieve something, you gotta work hard for it. Nobody is going to do it for you.

And, may I share my favorite quote with you by Mahatma Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I really liked your performance with Nneka. It was nice to hear her say how much your music meant to her. How did that collaboration come about? Why do you think you vibe so well creatively?

Well, I met Nneka in April 2006 and we had kept in touch. So, I asked her earlier this year if I could be her opening act, since I am still struggling. And that’s how it all started. I performed on her European tour in Bern, Basel, Zurich and Duesseldorf.

She told me that she liked my song “Trouble” because she related to it, and insisted on a collaboration. Really, it was a spontaneous thing. And, hey, we are talking about one of the most talented artist of our generation – I’d be stupid to say no! Hahaha.

Maybe we vibe well because we are similar in many ways. You know, when it comes to our musical backgrounds and that we are both fighters and believe in the good.


Bergitta Victor and Nneka live in Dusseldorf, Germany — They KILLED IT!

In your live performances with Nneka and with your band, I notice how free you look on stage. Were you always that comfortable?

I enjoy being on stage. It wasn’t always like that though. I had to learn that being on stage also means being at home. So, my stage is my home, where I feel good and make others feel welcomed – just like a host should, I guess.

I’m not much of a talkative person. So I “talk” through my music. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by certain things on stage and accidentally reveal more about myself than I actually planed to. But, you best get to know me by listening to my music. Not everything I write is personal – but a lot is.

You are from the beautiful Seychelles. How does your country and Africa inspire you?

I love the Seychelles.

I must admit, I have always been an admirer of Africa. Not only because I am an African myself. It’s because of the people of Africa! Africans are very proud, with very strong personalities and we believe that there will be a better tomorrow. And, we definitely never forget where we came from.

What’s one thing every artist should forget?

Hmmm… That making music is not about fame, money and bling bling. It’s about sharing and giving joy, hope, confidence, life and love. It’s about bringing positivity!

Finally, what does living unchained mean to you?

It means freedom to me. I am blessed and thankful for really getting to be free.

But, I am hoping that we all can be free one day, no matter where we’re from.

 

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18 Comments

  • I love that you talk about the layers to her art. An artist myself, I work in glass, and you can only imagine the layers I work into my pieces. I have also found layers to myself within my journey to sobriety. The Twelve Steps stoped me from forging the chains that bound me. I now feel free at last!

  • liveunchained says:

    Thanks for sharing Sandy!

  • Julian says:

    Inspiring man. Another take on this is to say I love you silently when wkailng down the street. Can have an amazing effect. Picked up the idea from Ram Dass. Thanks for reminding me.I love you! Leo

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