Vicky Pasion has been through many paths in life all of which have always brought her back to making music. She is a MOBO supported artist, and has accumulated a range of devoted fans since emerging on to the scene; from playing Michael Jackson in the theatre adaptation of Thriller, being a school teacher, to now releasing her own music, she is evolving her sound while evoking timeless influences from Whitney, Mariah, and Toni Braxton.
Growing up in Camden, London to a Filipino heritage, singing was always Vicky’s dream, we caught up with the musician to embark on her journey so far…
I know it’s early in the morning for you, how’s your day been so far?
Good! I’ve been up from quite early today. I’m trying to get into a routine before starting my day; gym, meditation you know, so far so good.
I’ve been trying to do that as well but unsuccessfully! Do those things keep you grounded would you say?
For sure. I’ve been meditating consistently as a practice for about four years now, which is crazy. But it has helped me find comfort in being still, being silent, and being with myself. I was going through a huge shift in my life when I found meditation and it’s been really healing. I’m not perfect at it, I can go weeks without doing it, but I always go back to it.
Does meditation help your music?
Yeah, even in terms of knowing myself more, it helps me notice where I go to in my head and it puts forward a lot of truths. The first time I went into a silent 10-day meditation camp, it was in a ‘retreat’ but very intense, not so much self-care. But I came out of that with so many ideas because I took that step back, and that is what built up my first EP, Valley of the Ashes.
So, the atmosphere surrounding the release of your first EP sounds really life-changing, you have a second EP coming out soon, so I’m intrigued to know what headspace you’re in now?
Thank you for asking that. The first one was really intense, and it was a time when I really realised, I wanted to be honest with my music. A lot of the things I was facing during then was to do with heartbreak and revisiting my childhood, so it was really raw and soulful. That soul is still there in this next one, but I am definitely in a happier place in my life right now, there are a lot of more chilled RnB sounds, it is lighter.
You’ve started this year off strong, released singles and a mini-series on Youtube, how has 2022 been so far?
Before the whole pandemic, there was a lot of momentum, released an EP, flew out to L.A. and then the pandemic happened, I was gutted. I had a lot of things I wanted to do but things happen for a reason. I feel like I’ve been waiting to launch that arrow of new projects, so now things have settled down a bit I’ve been able to do all of what I wanted to do. I feel really proud of myself; all of my waiting and vulnerability has been worth it.
You introduced us to the miniseries on YouTube, This Is Vicky Paison, what was the intention behind that?
It was just to document the process of getting the EP done and talking honestly about the different tracks and my experiences. It was like a gift in time and I wanted to capture that. I grew up in a single-parent home, in Camden and I wanted to be honest about that and where my mum came from. I was never rich growing up, I went to a theatre school but I felt like I belonged there, so I wanted to prove that I do belong there, and claim it.
You’re a Mobo-supported artist amongst other things, how would you measure success in your field?
For me it’s if I am happy and am I proud to share what I put out there, am I growing and being challenged, that’s how I would measure it. at the start I was so desperate to be recognised and almost not patient to get to that point, I was really anxious to just do it all now that I wasn’t appreciating the journey. Now it is me trusting that those things will come, but I have to be proud of every aspect of what I do, from looking in the mirror to a fan relating to a lyric, it makes me feel like it’s worth my time.
When would you say music first introduce itself in your life?
I think it was my mum. She is Filipino and a karaoke machine is everywhere growing up and she would listen to the big soulful singers like Whitney, Celiné Dion, Mariah Carey and I think that’s where I learned to properly sing. I was really shy growing up and we moved around a lot, so I just learned to be really reserved but hearing those women sing massive ballads was the best. And my mum saw that, so she put me out there within the community and I eventually started going to the Sylvia Young Saturday schools. That’s where I started to become a performer and my teacher recognised, I was literally giving everything in these songs and asked me to audition for the full-time school there. But then I went to university and I kind of lost myself because I stopped singing and went into teaching!
I was teaching at a boy’s secondary school which was so different from singing, I did that for a few years, but I had to call it quits because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was telling the kids to follow their dreams etc, and I felt a bit like a hypocrite because it wasn’t my dream. I was trying to make my mum proud, but it wasn’t worth anything, it was a tough decision because I did love the students. But I left and trained really hard again, and got back into it in Thriller Westend, I also played Michael Jackson and having backing dancers and the audience singing back to me was euphoric, I wanted to do it more.
Most musicians delve into other industries into their career; fashion, property, business. Do you have any side hustles or hobbies?
I love fashion. I have started thinking visually about how I want to represent myself, really into sustainable fashion and partnering with people who are mindful of what they do and POC businesses. I want to build sustainable things around me and have a community of creatives that are passionate about what they do.
Where will you be in the next 5 years?
I would love this EP to be out this year and be on festival line-ups and collab with other artists. The bigger dream would be to receive some awards maybe, more people to hear my music and I’d love to create an animation. Have my voice as the character and stuff, I just want different and bigger projects. And be surrounded by the best, most passionate people.