By Alex Teitz
When I first heard of Vyktoria Pratt Keating it was nearly two years ago. Another musician who only said grand things about her had referred me. Surprisingly, at the time, I owned Keating’s 1995 release Blue Apples. Months would pass, and I would ask this same musician for references, and again, Vyktoria Pratt Keating came up.
Then, FEMMUSIC began. Pounding my head against the web I returned to Vyktoria in time to hear that she’d been booked for the Jethro Tull US tour. Vyktoria and I finally talked about her, her CD This Guardian at Noon, and Jethro Tull.
For more information on Vyktoria Pratt Keating visit http://www.mothersea.com/vpk
FEMMUSIC: What started you in music, and what made you decide to pursue it professionally?
VPK: I have been fortunate to have had lots of early influences. I was shipped off to a summer camp 500 miles away from home for four consecutive summers from the age of 7-10. There were a lot of these hippy guitar folk singer types there and I quickly discovered the joy of music and playing music live. I have been playing professionally since age 19. It just seemed like a fun way to make a living and I love performing.
FEMMUSIC: Who have been your greatest influences, musically & songwriting?
VPK: Jethro Tull is my favorite band of all time and has had the greatest impact on me. Kate Bush is next. I like alot of different styles. Mike Oldfield, Rush, Yes, Genesis,Dueter, The Jackson 5…
FEMMUSIC: Describe your songwriting process? How do you come up with your songs?
VPK: It’s still a bit of a mystery. Sometimes I completely forget that I’m a songwriter, and yet I look and see all these songs that have come from somewhere, and each time I go to write, I wonder if I’ll be able to do it again. That’s where trust comes in I guess.
FEMMUSIC: What obstacles have you faced as a woman singer-songwriter?
VPK: Absolutely none. I really mean it. Now as a singer songwriter in general, man or woman, you are always going to have some obstacles, but I don’t even look at anything that way. I have come to trust that whatever is happening is right on some level, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Perfect is perfect.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me the difference between Vicky Pratt Keating, and Vyktoria Pratt Keating? I have the feeling the change was more than name alone.
VPK: That’s a great question. It’s a difference on many subtle levels. As you evolve, sometimes you need new words, and I am constantly transforming myself from within, and I guess this needed to be reflected without. Although I have never really thought about it ’til now. My real name is Victoria, and I felt it was time to use it. I spell it a bit different.
FEMMUSIC: What effect did your move from the East Coast to Arizona have on you and your music?
VPK: Sedona Arizona is a very transformative place. By living there, you cannot escape personal growth…it’s a fact..ask anyone who lives there. It has to do with a very powerful energy in that valley. It’s like the knob of your evolution gets cranked up to 11, and you process a lot of stuff. So, my time there so far has had mostly to do with clearing, and getting to a more real place within. I have written a few things this year that are very very different..more avant-garde, progressive. It’s always moving towards a more progressive place. I have tons of lyrics and I am looking forward to getting together with my tapes and notebooks and getting some work done
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about the Jethro Tull Tour? How did you become involved in it?
VPK: Well, it’s really amazing. I believe in timing, synchronicity, and this is a perfect example. Thru acts of divine will, I got my CD to Ian. I didn’t know at the time if he would even get the package, or what. Yet, one day I checked my phone messages and there were two from Ian. Needless to say I freaked out. We talked and he really liked the music and invited me to open the tour. It’s a really long story because the process took from December 98 until mid July to become firm. I had to do a lot of letting go and just trusting…being zen.
FEMMUSIC: What has been your best experience on the tour so far?
VPK: Everything!! I am having a total blast. The band, Ian, the crew, everyone is mega nice and supportive. The audience response has been beyond my expectations. Every night is a precious jewel, although the stand-out shows have been 1. Baltimore 2. Cleveland 3. Connecticut 4. St Louis
FEMMUSIC: What are your goals for the next five years?
VPK: To put out more music. It looks like in the very near future (sometime in early 2000, I’ll be putting out a new CD with Andrew Giddings, Jethro Tull’s keyboardist producing!) To keep digging deep. To be an inspiration to everyone I meet. To tour in Europe. To be studied enough in metaphysics, mythology, Jungian psychology and astrology to be a professional astrologer.
FEMMUSIC: What advise would you give to an artist just starting out?
VPK: Trust your intuition. Take “risks” Pay your dues because these dues are what will give you amazing strength when you need it. Make sure you’re doing what you love, because that is the fuel behind it all.
FEMMUSIC: What else would you like to say to our readers?
VPK:Thanks for reading this. Check my web site for more info and fun anecdotes of the Tull road trip. Cheers!