Victoria Justice is in her comeback era. The triple threat is soft-launching her music career with heartfelt singles 10 years after the finale of her iconic Nickelodeon show, Victorious. Even during her hiatus from the music industry, singing has always been on Justice’s mind. “I’ve missed making music. I love both [acting and singing] for different reasons, but music is definitely what I want to focus on at the moment,” she says in an exclusive interview with Her Campus.
Like most child actors who can hold a tune, Justice was encouraged to branch into the music industry during her Nickelodeon days. She put out two commercial singles called “Gold” and “Shake” in 2013 that clearly sound more like her character, Tori Vega, than Victoria. She vows that she’s changed as an artist since her debut singles boomed through tween clothing store speakers a decade ago.
“I didn’t even really want to record ‘Gold.’ The label that I was with at the time really wanted me to do it. It’s a fun song and I’m glad that I did it, but it wasn’t my first choice for a single,” she admits. “The things that I’m writing about now are much more personal, honest, and emotional. As I’ve gotten older, I’m willing to share more parts of myself.”
That transparency comes through while scrolling through Justice’s social media accounts. Her Instagram feed is full of digital postcards from her summer in Thailand spent shooting her upcoming thriller Sic. Her time abroad reinforced her commitment to protecting the environment. “No matter where I go, I still try to have a conscious routine. I carpool when I can, recycle, use Arm & Hammer’s Power Sheets to reduce my plastic bottle waste, and use reusable grocery bags.”
While she’s sharing more and talking about the environmental causes she believes in, Justice does choose to keep her love life private. She describes herself as someone who’s “always been a hopeful romantic” behind closed doors. “One of my favorite shows is The Bachelorette. I always daydream about love,” she laughs.
Her love for the show bleeds into her music. She wrote her latest single, “Only A Stranger,” after watching a particularly dreamy episode. “I went down to my music room and this little piano melody just came out of me. Then I just started singing those lyrics: ‘I want someone to think I’m special / Give me flowers for no reason.’ From that, the whole song was born,” she says.
The song’s lyrics are her daydreams put to paper. “I’m obviously longing for love in this song, but I’m also hopeful. I’m wondering, What is my future love like? I wanted to put my thoughts in musical form,” she says, a true departure from the palatable pop songwriting that drove “Gold.”
Justice’s evolved approach to songwriting has been shaped by artists who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with their feelings. The cover art for “Only A Stranger” pays homage to one of her favorite albums of all time: Billy Joel’s The Stranger. “My mom introduced me to Billy Joel at a young age, and we’ve always bonded over our love for him and his music,” she says. “When I wrote ‘Only A Stranger,’ I felt like it was only right to honor one of my favorite albums ever. It just seemed to really work creatively for the song.” Justice may have grown up in the spotlight, but she’s still a fangirl at heart. “The fact that [Joel] posted about it, acknowledged it, and knows that I exist is the craziest thing ever,” she says.
“Only A Stranger” is the latest in a row of five singles Justice has released since 2020. She’s not worried about how many songs she’s putting out; she’s focused on enjoying the process behind making them in the first place. “The fun thing about songwriting is that it’s a puzzle that you’re slowly piecing together,” she says. “You don’t always know where it’s going to go or even what it’s going to be called. Somehow, at the end of the day, you’ve created an entire song out of a thought or a sentence.”
Justice is taking her time to work out her latest puzzle: her upcoming debut album. There’s no release date on the horizon, but she assures her fans that the album is “definitely in the works, slowly but surely. I just want it to be the most honest representation of me and who I am as an artist today. It’s going to be vulnerable with a lot of that singer-songwriter vibe. But I also love fun and sexy songs that empower women, and I love songs that people can vibe and dance to. I think it’s going to be all of the above. I’m excited to keep experimenting and fleshing it out.”
Inspiration hit Victoria Justice for her new song “Only A Stranger” in the most unexpected way.
“I feel like a lot of us do this when we’re single or when we are romantics and are longing for love. It’s like we tend to daydream about who this person is, and they really could be someone that we could meet tomorrow,” she explained. “As of right now, they’re just a stranger on the street. But it’s such a crazy thought that years from now, they’re not going to be a stranger at all. They could be the person that is getting down on one knee to you.”
While she initially came up with the ballad thanks to her love for the ABC dating series, Justice confessed that she wanted to share a more vulnerable facet of herself that she hadn’t in the past.
“I’ve never really shared this side of myself with people and my feelings on love and where I’m with that in my life,” she admitted. “It was super vulnerable, but also I felt like it was something, even though it’s emotional, I still feel like it’s hopeful and I feel like it’s something that a lot of people can relate to. And so I felt like it was important for me to put it out there.”
The Bachelorette wasn’t the only thing that inspired Justice while writing “Only a Stranger.” The singer alsopaid homage to music icon Billy Joel, whom she and her mother listened to throughout Justice’s childhood. For the song’s artwork, she recreated Joel’s The Stranger album cover. Joel, 74, shared his approval by reposting the cover on his social media.
“The fact that Billy Joel posted about it was the coolest thing ever,” she gushed to Us. “I can’t really believe [he knows] I exist. And the fact that he acknowledged my song, what an honor, it made my life.”
As Justice releases new music, she also spends her time advocating for the environment and reducing her carbon footprint. She recently partnered up with Arm and Hammer as they released their new eco-friendly Power Sheets detergent — which have been a “game changer” for the former Nickelodeon star as she travels frequently.
“It’s a liquidless detergent, so it’s amazing because you don’t have to lug around a heavy bottle. There’s no more drippy mess and there’s no more plastic bottle waste,” she explained. “It comes in a compact recyclable box, and they’re incredible.”
With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton
On August 7th, 2023, Victoria took to her instagram account to announce the release of her new single, Only a Stranger. Posting a picture of the single cover, Victoria captions it…
Only A Stranger 🖤 8•11•23. Pre-save link in bio!
One of my most vulnerable yet, I hope you like it. I’m excited to finally share it with you.
Also, paying homage to one of the greatest albums & artists of all time with the art. 🙌🏼
Shot by the immensely talented @danpopsd
The single, Only a Stranger, will be released on Friday, 11th August and can be pre-ordered here.
Some things just feel synonymous with summer — like an oversize pool float, freshly cut watermelon, or the vision of sun rays reflecting through your rearview mirror on a late afternoon drive. But for Victoria Justice, the star finds that few things feel more quintessential to the season than a refreshing moscato. “I personally love a nice, sweet wine and find that [moscato] is the perfect drink for summer,” Justice tells POPSUGAR. “I’m a girl who loves a good charcuterie board and [having] a nice glass of wine while hanging out with my girls — whether that’s having either a fun night out or a chill movie night in.”
The multihyphenate admits that when she’s not working on her next film project or jet setting off on another trip (her Instagram is well-documented with seemingly endless travel adventures), Justice simply enjoys playing host for her loved ones at home — which usually requires that she keep her kitchen well-stocked with all sorts of snacks and spirits. Naturally, when the opportunity arose for the star to collaborate with Yellow Tail (the drink brand of choice in the Justice household), the partnership felt like an organic fit.
“I have been a Yellow Tail fan for a while. I just feel like they’re super affordable and the quality of the wine is just amazing for the price,” says Justice. “This is honestly the perfect drink for any summer occasion.” The actress’s latest campaign with Yellow Tail aims to highlight the brand’s newest (and sweetest!) moscato concoction to date, which for Justice, really has proven to be an omnipresent staple in her home — whether she’s hosting a game night with her girlfriends (things get pretty competitive during their regular Monopoly Deal competitions), watching the sunset in her LA-based backyard, or just pairing the drink with one of her famous charcuterie boards.
We had the chance to chat with Justice about her new collaboration with Yellow Tail Moscato, top summer hosting tips, and all of the products she can’t live without — from a tinted moisturiser to a durable suitcase and more.
Victoria Justice proves victorious this summer thanks to her Moscato Fizz cocktail.
“I can’t think of a better drink during summer,” the actress, 30, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “There are sweet, subtle notes of melon, passionfruit and kiwi — it’s like taking a sip of your own tropical paradise.”
Justice, whose recipe makes one drink, also noted that the Moscato Fizz is a great addition when you’re relaxing poolside or hanging out with friends.
“I don’t know much about wine,” Justice confessed during a joint “Jake’s Takes” interview with costar Adam Demos in May 2022. “When I buy wine, I buy it based on what label is the coolest and what art I like. I’m like, ‘Oh, this looks cool!’”
Demos, 38, chimed in: “My advice is don’t act like you know what you’re talking about and just enjoy it or don’t. Like, it’s annoying when people start talking about it. If it tastes good, happy days!”
In Netflix’s A Perfect Pairing, Justice leaves her Los Angeles home for Australia in hopes of recruiting a local vineyard to join her firm’s umbrella of winemakers. While down under, Justice’s Lola gets mistaken for a ranch hand by sheep farmer Max (Demos).
“The traveling part is so fun,” Justice previously told Us in March about visiting new places for various films like A Perfect Pairing. “The last couple [of] movies I did, one was in South Africa, the other in Australia. I might be doing one in Thailand coming up. So, it’s really exciting to get to step into new parts of the world and explore those cultures and then also create these new characters.”
When Justice isn’t busy on set, she’s found that the Moscato Fizz — a bubbly take on Yellow Tail’s wine — hits the spot as her go-to cocktail for the summer months.
Keep reading to get Justice’s recipe to mix up a Moscato Fizz:
- 3 oz club soda
- 2.5 oz Yellow Tail Moscato
- .75 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz of favorite berry liqueur or spoonful of favorite jam
- 2 fresh herbs of your choice, for garnish
- Fill a stemless wineglass with ice. Pour in club soda.
- Combine Moscato, lemon juice and either liqueur or jam in a shaker. Shake over ice for about 30 seconds, then pour over club soda.
- Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice.