When Victoria Duffield opens for Big Time Rush on Sunday, she'll be in the same spot where, not too long ago, she saw her idol Britney Spears reaching to her audience.
When she was in the audience, Duffield was enthralled. Spears made her feel like she was singing to her. She attempted to eliminate the barrier that exists between the performer and her audience. Duffield wants to do the same.
At the same time, she's aware of the rare position she's in.
"I'm doing it at 17," Duffield says of being on the stage at Rogers. "It's very cool."
It won't be easy, though. Her opening set for Big Time Rush is 15 minutes, accompanied by four dancers. She'll be singing and dancing to a backup track.
Lady Gaga's first appearance in Vancouver was similar. She was opening for another boy band, which might have been Backstreet. Lady Gaga and her dancers went through the bump and grind and didn't appear to be having any fun. She seemed to have gritted her teeth and was thinking, "If this is what you have to do to become a star, OK."
Duffield doesn't care, doesn't see this as work. She is too new to this and admits as much.
From Abbotsford, Victoria Duffield released her first major label album, Shut Up And Dance, Aug. 28. With three hit singles, including the title track, the short album is straight ahead Britney pop, as positive as Duffield hopes to be. As new as she purports to be, Duffield has acting experience in films and television from the time she was four years old. It was competing in the Canadian TV series, The Next Star, she met her co-writer, Ryan Stewart and began to realize a long time desire to sing and write, writing being a point of pride.
"Growing up, every opportunity to perform I took," Duffield remembers. "I've always wanted to be a performer. I always wanted to do it."
Stewart was a producer of The Next Star and a songwriter. Her label, Warner's, set up a meeting of the two and there was an instant rapport.
"He was definitely able to capture what I wanted of my music," says Duffield. "We found the right formula. Once you have the right formula, you know it."
That couldn't have been easy either. Vancouver isn't known for producing pop/dance records, but Duffield has developed a team that importantly includes Dave Ogilvie. Important because Ogilvie's resume embraces extremes from Skinny Puppy to his own Jackalope, united by their rhythm base. In other words, he knows how to engineer a dance track.
As well, her label seemed to sense how to handle someone just getting started.
"It was all set up by my label because I'm still new to this," Duffield notes. "For me, this has been one new experience after another.
"A first impression, right off the bat, is so important."
It helped that she knew what she wanted. Using Spears as her model, Duffield set about creating that first impression.
"I really, really care," Duffield states sincerely. "I'm a positive person so positivity is important to me."
WHERE: Rogers Arena
WHEN: Sunday, 7 p.m.
TICKETS: $39.50, 49.50, 69.50 at Ticketmaster.ca