For our latest Prism Babe feature, we traveled to historic Downtown San Juan Capistrano with one of our favorite local musicians, Victoria Bailey and super talented Prism photographer, Stefanie Vinsel. Born and raised in Huntington Beach, Victoria started out playing music with her dad and his friends, then struck out on her own and is now set to release her second record, Honky Tonk Woman. Not represented by any label or manager, Victoria hustles as a full-time musician booking and playing all kinds of local gigs - at dive bars to weddings and everywhere in between. We first met Victoria when she performed live at one of our events at the boutique, and we’ve been obsessed with her ever since.
Shop all of Victoria’s looks in our newest lookbook, and be sure to check out Victoria’s music on Bandcamp, her newest music video for Honky Tonk Woman (also shot by Stefanie!), and follow her on Instagram to catch her on tour this Spring.
We shot this lookbook with frequent photog and talented lady, Stefanie Vinsel, who just happens to be your BFF. How FUN is it having such talented friends? And how do you two approach a project you want to work on together?
Stefanie (I call her Vinnie) is so inspiring to me, and we actually met through Instagram! She asked if I wanted one of my shows photographed a little over a year ago and we met up on a “blind new friend date.” I knew right away she was going to be such an amazing friend in my life. She has such a beautiful vision for the world through her lens, and the biggest heart for God and the people around her. Working with her is also such a dream, I feel so comfortable around her and I get to be extra silly with her in between takes.
For our shoots, I usually put a little inspiration board together, but really I know she will always reflect my music and style onto our projects so perfectly. She’s also hopping in the car for my tour with her camera and tambourine and BEAUTIFUL voice.
As women and as artists, we tend to shoulder our work ourselves and it can be sometimes isolating. What advice do you have for young artists looking to connect with other creatives?
Social Media is such a awesome outlet for young creatives. It’s bittersweet - I am definitely an advocate not getting so wrapped up in our tiny screens, but Instagram is such an awesome tool to essentially create mini portfolios of our work.
I not only met Stefanie on social media, but sooo many other musicians who I end up playing shows and collaborating with. My advice would be to just reach out to other people who are doing the same thing as you are and to collaborate as much as you can! It’s SO fun and important to be around other artists. I have learned so much about myself and my music through singing and playing with other people over the past few years. I’m in another band called “Jerry & the Rest” which is a group of best friends who are all in other projects as well. Playing each others music is SO inspiring and definitely ends up intertwining into your own work.
You’re about to go your first mini-tour up to Utah and through all of California in March. Was it difficult to set up a tour yourself?
This has definitely been a dream of mine since I began playing music. Filling my car with instruments and friends and snacks and and being able to play for so many different types of new faces and just hope that my music resonates even in the smallest way.
It’s definitely been challenging trying to book shows and plan, but everything sort of just fell in to place for this trip and feels like such a blessing!
You teach music and host a weekly children’s music circle at our neighbors, Family Store. What’s your favorite part about working with kids?
Yes! We call ourselves the Little Folk Club and we meet every Friday morning. We all sit in a circle while I play traditional folk songs for them on my guitar, and I bring a big basket of fun little instruments for everyone to play along, too! I also teach one-on-one guitar lessons with a few kiddos.
My favorite part is seeing my students become so comfortable over time that they start to write their own songs in our lessons. My lessons are definitely not traditional, I like to focus more on the creative aspect of playing music and encourage them to tell their stories through song. Teaching and hosting Little Folk Club is definitely a big piece of my heart.
Your second record, Honky Tonk Woman is set to debut soon and has a newly-released music video, also shot by Stef in San Juan Capistrano. How was it creating this new music and its video?
I am planning to record a live album in the next few months, so these two new tracks “Honky Tonk Woman” and “Sabina” are a little slice of what this album will feel like. I am so lucky to be surrounded by talented musicians/friends who all came together into the studio to be apart of it, and they truly brought my songs to life and we had the BEST time creating together too!
Creating this music video was a unplanned little burst of magic. This song and the lyrics really represent who I am right now as a country artist. Playing in the few local country Honky Tonk bars is a big part of what I love doing and The Swallow Inn, where we filmed part of it, is a legendary spot. Stef has a great eye and is such an amazing storyteller through her lens, and she really reflected my song perfectly.
You’re a full-time musician, booking and playing gigs large and small at least a couple times a week. What keeps you on that hustle and away from the comforts of a 9-to-5 job?
Being an independent musician definitely feels like a full time job, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! I work hard to be consistently playing around town anywhere from restaurants to venues to festivals to weddings, I absolutely feel SO lucky to be doing what i’m doing, and that alone keeps me going. There are some nights I play for a tiny bar room of people, but they appreciate my music and that’s what fills my heart up!
You’re a Orange County babe - born and raised - share some of your go-to spots in your neighborhood.
My boyfriend Eric and I have a serious ramen addiction right now, so Huntington Ramen is the first to pop in my head! For coffee, I love AOSA which is super close to my house and has the best comfy vibe for hanging out with a good book. My little dog Minnie loves it as well! My favorite local bar and venue is Mother’s Tavern - a little beachside country bar filled with the sweetest locals and the coldest beer and is hands down my favorite place for my friends and I to jam together. A lot of magic happens in there, and if you’ve been to Mother’s, it’s your favorite too.
What was your favorite moment from the Prism shoot?
That beautiful giant orange tree we shot one of the looks under! Also, I had never been inside of the mission in San Juan which was such a historical, breathtaking treat!
How would you describe your personal style?
Vintage Western is what i’m most inspired by. Fringe jackets, BOOTS.. So many boots, and floral maxi dresses, and my white Stetson hat are the ingredients of my everyday wardrobe.
If you could pick five things from Prism Boutique as your Spring must-haves, what would they be?