Vikki Minor


Vikki Minor (FKA “velours”) is an award-nominated neo-90s alt-pop artist proudly from Saskatoon, SK, and now partially based in Toronto, ON. Her musical influences range from ‘70s anti-establishment punk to ‘80s dance pop to ‘90s alternative and grunge, with a ‘00s attitude stemming from her growing up in the era. This emerging artist has been compared to Alanis Morrissette, Avril Lavigne, and Michelle Branch with her in-depth songwriting and catchy melodies captivating music fans from around the country. Vikki Minor’s stellar releases this past year have shown her growth as an artist and individual. She has been able to keep her complex lyricism while bringing her electric live performances’ musical attitude into the intimate studio, has performed at various showcases and festivals across Canada, and earned nominations for awards like Rock/Pop Artist of the Year at the SaskMusic Awards three years in a row and Pop Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Vikki Minor’s music is a seamless blend of synth-pop and alternative rock, with powerful vocals and a rock star edge noted by wide-ranging audiences, news outlets, and fellow musicians.

Starting in 2020, Minor has worked with Juno-award winner Ryan Stewart on singles like “Summer Haze” and “Whatever That Means”, which gained her high praise and immediate attention from the industry. Minor’s more recent releases “Miss You the Most” and “Flowers in a Wasteland” in late 2022 began to show off her 90s alternative influence even more. Newest singles “Pieces of You” and “COOL” (the latter produced by L.A.’s Zack Burke and mixed by Dean Maher) being released in fall of 2023 and summer of 2024 have continued her neo-90s musical exploration. Her upcoming works in 2024 will showcase new producers and Vikki Minor experimenting with various genres in the 90s era.

New singles like “COOL” and “Pieces of You” are both newly accompanied by creative music videos. Vikki Minor excitedly collaborated with Saskatoon-based directors to embody each song’s atmosphere. “Pieces of You”, directed by Molly Schicosky and edited by Katie Tupper, was an all-female production made entirely in Minor’s basement on Super 8 film. Rakk Productions tackled the fun, unabashedly earnest music video for “COOL”, with Vikki Minor taking on director reigns as well. Vikki Minor considers these two contrasting songs and their releases back-to-back as her personal “Barbenheimer” in music.

Earlier releases “Miss You the Most”, ‘00s pop-rock “Flowers in a Wasteland”, and her neo-90s spin on Kate Bush’s iconic “Running Up That Hill”, Minor has shown a vulnerability and flare for nostalgia noticed by her fans and the Canadian music industry. These singles have received frequent commercial and community radio play all across North America including Saskatchewan’s CBC Radio, C95FM, CFCR 90.5FM, Manitoba’s 101.5 UMFM, Buffalo’s WEDG 103.3FM “The Edge”, Kingston, ON’s CFCR 101.9FM, and 104.3 Fresh Radio. As well, Minor has been brought on to most of these stations (C95, CFCR 90.5FM, CFCR 101.9FM, and 104.3 Fresh Radio) for interviews either announcing a single’s release or an upcoming performance.

Recent media has showcased Vikki Minor’s growing attention and acclaim from the industry. Exclaim!’s article 8 Emerging Artists You Need to Hear wrote, “Melding the nostalgia of ’90s alternative with modern synthpop, Minor’s powerful, velvety voice soars on the huge choruses of recent singles “Flowers in a Wasteland” and “Miss You the Most,” the latter of which could easily be on the playlist of the vintage video store she laments over.” Other media has included features in the blog Great Dark Wonder for her performance at Tall Pines Music Festival, claiming the set to be “vintage Vikki Minor,” Canadian Musician Magazine’s Artist Showcase, and being interviewed and performed her new original songs live on CTV Saskatoon to promote a show at beloved venue Amigos Cantina.

Vikki Minor’s live performances this past year have raised her to a new level in her career. Shows at the end of 2022 and throughout 2023 have included opening for Skye Wallace’s Everything is Fine Tour at Capitol Music Club (Saskatoon, SK), headlining Amigos Cantina (Saskatoon, SK) twice, then going on her own Mini-Ontario Tour in summer of 2023. These shows included the Spring Reverb festival (Kingston, ON), Lemmon Stage’s NXNE showcase (Toronto, ON), DoWest Fest (Toronto, ON), performing on the same mainstage as Blue Rodeo and Serena Ryder at Tall Pines Music festival (Muskoka, ON), and performing at Toronto alt. scene’s beloved Sneaky Dee’s, opening at Sneaky Dee’s on September 23rd, and opening for Canadian icon Fefe Dobson October 21st at Capitol Music Club (Saskatoon, SK). Vikki Minor has played a few local shows and was selected to perform at 2024’s BreakOut West showcase in her home city of Saskatoon, SK in September.

The emerging artist has been nominated for Rock/Pop Artist of the Year at the SaskMusic Awards three years in a row and Pop Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Minor has been fortunate to receive Creative Saskatchewan’s Market Travel Grant for her trip to perform and network at Canadian Music Week and SK Arts’ Microgrant Program for a single release.

Vikki Minor’s musical exploration isn’t the only shift in her career this year. The artist––legally known as Ava Janzen––was forced to change her artist name from “velours” after already establishing herself under the pseudonym since she was 19 years old. In March of this year, an artist from Florida named “Velour” took down Minor’s song “Flowers in a Wasteland” and reported her to Distrokid. Minor then had to contact Velour and come to an arrangement in order to not get sued. After consulting acclaimed entertainment lawyer Kurt Dahl, it was decided that she would change her artist name. It was a blessing in disguise. At lunch with her mom, this artist decided to name herself after a character from one of her favourite movies: Reality Bites, then added a change of lettering for fun to create “Vikki Minor”. This artist name fit better with her musical trajectory and edgier persona. The marketing campaign involved creative erasure of certain social media posts and finding means to escort her established fanbase to a new Spotify profile. Using editing software and showcasing nostalgic imagery, Minor was able to market the neo-90s alt-pop artist she secretly always was. So, even though numerous articles and credentials are now under a name left behind in order to move forward, Vikki Minor’s hard work and music has been able to reach audiences and continue to gain 57K+ overall Spotify streams.




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