Combining melodic indie-pop choruses with an irresistible electronic groove, Virginia to Vegas is the project of Toronto singer-songwriter Derik John Baker. With two singles now released, Colourful and We Are Stars, Derik is in the process of creating Virginia to Vegas’ debut record. To discuss their upcoming performance at Scene Music Festival in Toronto this weekend, we recently gave Derik a call. Enjoy the interview below as we also chat about his forthcoming album, festival season, good vibes, and his Scene Music Festival picks.
Virginia to Vegas: Hey Alicia, how are you doing?
AMBY: Good, thanks. How are you?
Virginia to Vegas: I’m doing really well.
AMBY: Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with me today, it’s much appreciated.
Virginia to Vegas: No worries, I’m happy to talk with you.
AMBY: I have to bring up your recently released single… You released your debut single We Are Stars in January, and just dropped your new follow-up track Colourful yesterday. Did you do anything to celebrate its release?
Virginia to Vegas: I should have [laughs]. To tell you the truth, I’ve been swamped since I have a bunch of stuff coming up. I’ve been super busy trying to get the album finished. I think I’ll celebrate… maybe next year?
AMBY: [laughs] I’m happy you brought up the record there. You have officially released two tracks, but when can we expect to see the album?
Virginia to Vegas: I think everyone can expect to see it by the end of the summer. That’s kind of what our plan is right now. We’re currently pushing ahead and trying to find the right collection of songs. At this point, it’s finding out which songs are going to make it on the album and which ones will set the right vibes.
AMBY: Have you sorted out a working title for the album yet?
Virginia to Vegas: No, I don’t think I even have any idea of what I’m going to call it. I think once I get the collection of songs and know what it’s going to be, I’ll go from there.
AMBY: When it comes to Colourful, who were your biggest inspirations to drive that feel-good electronic groove?
Virginia to Vegas: Hmmm… cool. I’m a huge fan of The 1975 and what they’re doing with organic music. There’s also a band called M83 who I really love. The kind of music I listen to doesn’t necessarily reflect on the music I make; but I might try to incorporate some of those influences into the pop style that I produce.
AMBY: As you mentioned earlier, you will play Toronto’s Scene Music Festival this weekend. What’s your favourite part about festival season?
Virginia to Vegas: I really like being on the road; the guys I travel with a really great and I’m really excited to meet all the fans. It’s just a blast. Everyone has a really good vibe and it’s always a good time playing outside.
AMBY: Do you plan on checking out any other artists playing at Scene Festival? Do you have any “must-see” acts for our readers at home?
Virginia to Vegas: Shad is a mutual friend of mine, I don’t really know him but a friend of mine plays drums for him, so I really want to go out and watch that. The guys in Marianas Trench are really cool; I met them at the MMVAs and they were super nice. There are a couple bands playing the day before like Wildlife and Trouble & Daughter. There’s a bunch of stuff I want to see.
AMBY: When it comes to live performances, what was your first concert experience like? Did it have an impact on your music?
Virginia to Vegas: I think my first big concert was John Mayer. If that truly was my first concert experience, then it definitely would have had a big impact. After seeing the first John Mayer show, I saw a bunch of them. I mean, every time he’d come to Toronto I would go see him. I was always a huge fan of how he played guitar and how he interacted with the crowd. I always loved listening to his rants.
AMBY: Good stage banter?
Virginia to Vegas: He’d have the coolest rants.
AMBY: What are some things you do for fun when you aren’t making music?
Virginia to Vegas: The thing I like to do the most is go visit my Dad in Guelph. I like to hang out with my family, to tell you the truth. When I get the chance to hang out with my family, that’s what I really enjoy.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Virginia to Vegas that most people don’t know yet?
Virginia to Vegas: I’m blind in my left eye.
Thank you Virginia to Vegas, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout