Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish
Andrew Hamlin 1 p.m., July 29
Sound description: Electronic sequencers mixed with live instrumentation, layers of vocals, and synth pads.
RIYL: Imogen Heap, David Gray, Dido, Brazilian Girls, Air, Keane, Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp, Shelby Lynne, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Joan Osbourne, 4 Non Blondes, Dire Straits, Fono, Aimee Mann, Berlin, Debbie Harry
Inception: San Diego, 2003
Current Status: Currently a Mezzo-Soprano singer for the San Diego Opera
Influences: Dire Straits, Imogen Heap, David Gray, Dido, Brazilian Girls, Air, Keane, Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp
You may have heard Victoria Robertson singing in the chorus with the San Diego Opera over the past several years (Madama Butterfly, etc.) or soloing the national anthem at a Miramar Air Show. Or you may have seen her modeling in international print ads and catalogs for Kyocera cell phones and Road Runner Sports. If you hung around La Jolla's Living Room on Thursday nights, you might have caught her with acoustic guitar (Taylor model 414, made in El Cajon) and perhaps a band, performing what she describes as "acoustic-pop-Sheryl-Crow-meets-Jewel
If you're in the armed forces, however, you probably know her as Miss USO San Diego, a post she's held since shortly after relinquishing her Miss San Diego crown from the 1998 Miss America competition. "People think the USO died with Bob Hope, World War II, or maybe Vietnam, but the entertainment department is still out there playing all kinds of training bases, all over the world, in war and in peacetime. We've even landed on aircraft carriers, coming down in this little plane on a postage-stamp-sized spot on the ocean and then playing on a stage at the flight line!"
Accommodations for her and her backup band are paid for by the USO when they perform far-flung places like Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Thule Air Base in Greenland (where only 700 troops were stationed). "The A-list performers are building morale in the war zones. We get sent to the other places, where the support troops are warming up." She says she'd have no problem going to a hot zone like Iraq. "I'll sing wherever they send me, wherever they think I can do some good. No matter what your politics are, whether you're for or against the war itself, the men and women in uniform are just doing their job. They deserve support."
Only one other state has a Miss USO -- New York -- and that post is voted annually via pageants and judges. "I'm told they'll let me be Miss USO San Diego until either the troops don't like me anymore or I can't sing. I hope that's a long time away. Boy, that'll be a sad day when they come up to me and say, 'It's time.'"
Originally from New Jersey, Robertson graduated from UC San Diego with a Visual Arts degree. Her album, Say New You,was released in August 2007, and her album Celebrating is often sent to troops overseas.
In February 2008, Robertson won the "Carlsbad to Karlovy Vary" vocal competition for the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus Young Artist program. Karlovy Vary is Carlsbad's "sister city" in the Czech Republic. At SDSU, Robertson is a part of the Artist Diploma Program. She runs her own side business entertaining at children's parties, Princess Parties and Friends.
Nominated “Best Local Recording” San Diego Music Awards 2007
Nominated “Best Record of the Year” L.A. Music Awards 2006
Nominated “Best New Artist” San Diego Music Awards 2005