20 December 2018

Emerging musicians get a break with Canberra Cavalry

| Wendy Johnson
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Victoria (Tori) Nikias

The talented Tori Nikias doing what she loves. Photos: Supplied.

Canberra music talent, Victoria (Tori) Nikias, says as a child she used to sing more than she talked. Her first performance in front of a real live audience was at a friend’s birthday party when everyone encouraged her to get up and sing. She was six and belted out Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby feat’. It was the start of something good.

Today, Tori is just 15 years of age and tomorrow night she’ll be belting it out again, this time at the start of the Canberra Cavalry baseball game in its newly renovated grounds, The Fort at MIT Ballpark. It’s all part of a community initiative bringing together music and sport and artists and athletes, who all share an intense focus on performance, whether it be on stage, in a theatre or on a field.

The initiative sees Canberra Calvary partnering with Kulture Break to help promote local talent, including emerging musicians like Tori, says Dan Amodio, Director of Canberra Calvary.

“The partnership provides a platform for hugely talented Canberra musicians and singers. They perform at the ball park and we stream it live on Facebook. People then vote on the winner. We have about 12 performers throughout the season. We also have local bands who play, including a great new band “SAL” from the ANU School of Music, who will be performing before Tori takes the stage tomorrow night.”

The new partnership with Kulture Break is a great fit for Calvary, says Dan, given that the charity youth services provider has a strong community arts focus and is committed to the wellbeing, transformation and empowerment of young people.

“Kulture Break is providing most of the talent for the Starlite Music Series this season,” says Dan. “The partnership is all about community engagement, introducing fans to new artists, giving artists live experience in front of a large crowd, and adding energy and atmosphere to our games.”

Tori looking glamorous on the red carpet.

Tori is thrilled to be performing tomorrow night but says she’s being careful not to over think what the experience will be like, in an attempt to control her nerves. She’s a seasoned singer, musician and now a songwriter, having just released Haunted House this week, which she wrote and produced herself. This follows the release of her first original last year, Fly little bird. The songs showcase Tori’s talent and maturity as an artist.

Tori’s mum, Ximena, isn’t surprised her daughter is travelling the music path. “We’ve been listening to her sing since she was the ripe old age of three,” says Ximena. “We enrolled her in professional singing lessons when she was eight. She joined Elevate Academy run by Kulture Break—they’ve been a big part of her development. And she was involved with Canberra’s amateur theatre group, Phoneix Players.”

So who are some of Tori’s all-time fav singers? There are many, but the list includes Adele, Tracy Chapman, Ed Sheeran, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. But if she could choose which artist to perform with tomorrow, it would be Sam Smith. “I adore him,” says Tori.

In terms of her own singing style, Tori describes her voice as ‘soulful’.

Tori’s future includes more singing, more songwriting and more performing. She has no real desire to apply for music reality tv shows, saying she prefers to focus on disciplining herself through her own experience, to learn as much as she can and develop a solid work ethic.

Other musicians that have been lined up to perform at Canberra Calvary baseball games from now until the end of the year include Ashya Chandra (22 December), Owen Chidi (27 December), 28 December (Mai Gavel), Creekside (29 December) and Louise Cooke (30 December).

You can see Tori’s set at tomorrow night’s game versus Geelong-Korea. Buy your tickets here.

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