Profiles In Innovation• CODA

Victoria Canal: Intrepid Believer

Victoria Canal has had the use of only one full arm since birth due to amniotic band syndrome, but she hasn’t let it slow her down.
Chris Mohney

She’s originally from Munich, Germany, but by the time she turned 18, Victoria Canal had already lived in nine different countries due to her parents’ globe-trotting lifestyle. Though she was a promising multilingual student, it was music that really attracted her passion, and so she studied piano and songwriting at the Berklee College of Music campuses in Valencia and Boston, and eventually at New York University. She’s matured into a singer-songwriter often compared to Alicia Keys or Norah Jones. Now, at the ripe old age of 20, she has already booked major shows and a tour in support of her debut EP, Into the Pull.

What sorts of inspiration are you finding on tour? 

Meeting people who shine through with their resilience is what inspires me. Every single person alive is experiencing their own reality, and being able to tap into that and be a part of it through touring and doing shows is something that keeps me going. 

How would you characterize your creative relationship with technology? 

I use technology to open my scope of opportunities. With everything offered today, there are no excuses—everything you could ever dream of doing is more accessible than ever, thanks to the tools provided. Take social media, for example. Through it I’ve been handpicked to go on two nationwide tours with artists I’d only ever dreamed of being noticed by. And I have direct access to my listeners to communicate exactly what I want to. It’s pretty awesome. 

What would you change about the current state of music? 

I think artists need tour support if people aren’t paying for recorded music anymore. Musicians rely on doing shows to make a living, but a lot of them can’t take their amazing projects on the road because of financial restrictions (and because they haven’t made much off the stuff they released online!). To remodel fans’ involvement beyond simply buying tickets would be monumental for independent artists. 

What are your favorite ways to connect with your audience? 

My favorite ways to connect with my audience are (1) at shows, because I give and get so many long, meaningful hugs, and (2) online, where fans are friends, and the community is nonexclusive and ever-evolving. 

Given your international background and perspective, what do you think the global younger generation feels is most important about their future? 

Mental health has been a key topic among my peers. We as young people impose more stress on ourselves than I think there has ever been before. Finding a maintenance routine to stay healthy and happy — and destigmatizing mental illness — is something we’re all searching for.