“Nirvana in REM is a stunning and exceptionally well-made collection of 10 original songs… a wonderous musical work of art… ”
“When two skilled artists meet, miracles can happen. Nirvana in REM captivated me immediately. In short: contemporary narrative songs set to atmospheric music in a stylish version. Be surprised by both artists.”
— Marino Serdons, Keys and Chords
“this is pop of the intelligent and emotional kind ”
— Wolfgang Giese, Musik an sich
Fusion Bags interview in 2020.
Victoria Vox - the one woman band
Victoria Vox, is an award-winning, ukulele-toting, performing songwriter. With a passion for writing songs since she was 10 years old, she went on to graduate with a degree in Songwriting from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). In 2003, she traded in her guitar for the ukulele as her main accompaniment and took the stage name Victoria Vox (Latin for voice). Her acoustic music style shifted to chanson tinged with jazz, which, over the years, has settled in nicely with her pop songwriting flair. Since the release of her first ukulele album in 2006 (Victoria Vox and her Jumping Flea), Vox has been one of the leading songwriters on the ukulele scene and three-time cover girl for Ukulele Magazine (USA) and UKE Mag (U.K.). She has shared the bill with ukulele greats such as Jake Shimabukuro, James Hill, and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. As a singer-songwriter she has also straddled into the folk scene, where she has opened for Jackson Browne, Tom Chapin, Leo Kottke, and Cheryl Wheeler. Over the years, she continued to evolve and reinvent her sound. She now performs mostly as a one-woman-band, incorporating a loop pedal and bass effect on her Low G ukulele.
Vox, who also plays the trumpet, is more known for her “mouth trumpet”; a Jazz-era vocal technique emulating the sound of a horn. This odd and quirky talent, nonetheless, landed her on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2009 where she was invited to blow her own horn. In 2015, Vox was featured on the front page (bottom half) of the Wall Street Journal as a leader in the mouth trumpet “revival”. She has also written songs in French, and her music has been used in indie films and heard on indie radio around the globe. Vox is a 10-year member of 1% For the Planet and has donated songs for causes like the American Asperger’s Association and the Duchenne Foundation.
Vox’s infectious pop-folk-jazz style has earned her fans who truly appreciate her art, as she has fan-funded several albums and a songwriting project. Since the pandemic shut down in 2020, Vox went online for 151 episodes (and counting) of “the Best Medicine Show” with her husband, Jack Maher, under the moniker Jack & the Vox. She loves to make an audience laugh...and cry. Her songs are genuine, sometimes quirky, spanning a wide array of emotions. Anything is possible with a ukulele, and Victoria Vox is proof. Originally from Green Bay, WI, Vox has lived in France, England, Nashville, Baltimore, and now resides in Costa Mesa, CA.
Vox has performed across the U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska), Western Europe, and Down Under (N.Z. and Australia). She also teaches workshops for ukulele and songwriting at festivals, has been a featured guest artist at the Center for Children (San Diego, CA), and was an Artist in Residence at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center (Bethesda, MD). In 2014, her original song, "The Bird Song" was included in the New Zealand Ukulele Trust songbook for kids (2014-2016) and traveled there to perform her song alongside 2,500 children. Vox has completed 9 school residency programs (2015 - 2021) where she worked with children on ukulele playing, singing, and songwriting.
Victoria Vox’s new album, Nirvana in REM, is an audio-visual experience of 10 original songs inspired by 20 works of art by visionary artist Fred Stonehouse. “These new songs have an atmospheric quality that is deeply emotional and psychological, as well as hauntingly poetic,” says Stonehouse about Vox’s music. Together, they explore the connection between reality and the nonsensical world of dream logic.
Vox and Stonehouse met at Love on Holiday–a songwriting festival where musicians are randomly paired with a visual artist–in February 2020. After Vox co-wrote “Quest for Love” the conversation between the two continued across 2 times zones, and the idea to do an entire album together and during the pandemic came to fruition. Vox, who loves to character-write (other perspectives), reveled in Stonehouse’s work and would sometimes call Stonehouse for a little more backstory on any given piece.
Over their conversations Vox would learn about Stonehouse’s family stories, ranging from his father being an orphan child and his mother who was 1 of 7 children from a religious Italian immigrant family who landed in Milwaukee, WI. “Clean” was inspired by the Griffin type animal looking back with a tear in its eye. Current affairs of the Reffitt family–2021 Insurrection story–and Vox’s own experience with family and forgiveness came into play as well. In “Silent Song” Vox channels Stonehouse’s mother, whose childhood was filled with superstitious stories–she was told she had “the gift” of ESP–and also went deaf at a young age from Rheumatic Fever (along with 4 of her siblings). Vox also learned about what inspired Stonehouse in his own art making and the challenges he faced in “Easy Money”. His family also left him with many unanswered questions in “Checkerboard Flooring”. There is always a big of magic in the music, like in “Echo of Luck” and “Floating on Fruit”, and Vox questions why we lie in “Color of Lying”, and that it’s not always a bad thing. “Think Twice”–one of two songs written before Vox and Stonehouse met–grapples with mental health, a subject Stonehouse was familiar with in his family. This prompted him to paint Buried Thoughts. “Eye of the Animal”–written a decade ago–Vox writes about the relationship between humans and nature. This seemed to fit perfectly with the art 21 Tears, as the deer hangs on for life as the waters rise.
The album was released as a hardcover limited-edition book, as well softcover (both with CD inserts and a download file) and limited-edition vinyl. All formats contain a QR code that the viewer / listener can access animated versions of the artwork!
Currently, Vox is working on an ukulele / acoustic version of this album.
Awards and Achievements
• 2022 Summer issue cover of Ukulele Magazine with feature article
• 2019 Nominee Contemporary Album for "Colorful Heart" Independent Music Awards
• 2018 Issue 16 (December) cover of Uke Magazine w/ feature article
• 2016 Baker Artist Awards, Finalist
• 2015 Spring issue cover of Ukulele Magazine with feature article
• 2014 Nominee Contemporary Album for “Key” Independent Music Awards
• 2014 Performed her original, “The Bird Song” with 2500 ukulele-strumming-children in Auckland, New Zealand. Inclusion of her song has been in their songbook for 2 years.
• 2013 Mountain Stage NewSong Contest Finalist and People’s Choice Winner
• 2012 Original Song Project completion: 52 songs in one year
• 2011 Winner - Vox Pop Award for “Exact Change” Independent Music Awards
• 2009-10 Artist in Residence (AIR) at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center
• 2009 First Place for “C'est Noyé” International Acoustic Music Awards
• 2008 Runner-Up for "My Darlin' Beau" International Acoustic Music Awards
• Six-time Wammies Winner (Washington Area Music Awards)
• Relix Magazine and Washington D.C.'s City's Best lists of artists to watch
Television / Film
• June, Adrift: “Let It Go”, “Summertime” (original)
• Affinity Health Commercial: “Summertime” (original)
• On the Road with Victoria Vox interview in the documentary, “Mighty Uke: The Amazing Comeback of a Musical Underdog” (2010)
• Westbound opening song “Out On the Rails” (original) ADDY Winner
• Lost in Woonsocket: “America” (original)