Nickelodeon actress has switched attention to music, hopes to release album this year.
Victoria Justice says her upcoming Summer Break Tour with fellow Nickelodeon stars Big Time Rush will be "one final hurrah for all the 'Victorious' fans," and a transition point into a music career under her own name.
The 20-year-old Justice wrapped her three-year run starring in "Victorious" in February, and she tells Billboard that since then, she's been busy working on new material that will comprise her first proper solo album. "It definitely falls under the category of pop, but it's my own vibe," says Justice, who released three "Victorious" albums -- which launched the hits "Freak the Freak Out" and "Make It Shine" -- and also appeared on the soundtrack for the Nickelodeon movie "Spectacular!" "When you hear these songs…the people that know me are like, 'This is so Vic!' It's 100 percent my personality, messages I want to get across. Some of the songs are really fun, upbeat stuff you can dance to, and then I have some songs that are a little more introspective, a little more mellow. It's just all me, basically, so it's very cool."
Justice has been working with producers and co-writers such as Greg Wells and the Messengers on the album. She and Nick/Columbia are currently deciding if she'll release a new single during the course of the tour and working on a timetable for the album, which she hopes to release this year.
"I'm very excited for everyone to hear my own sound and who I am as an artist," she says. "I've been cultivating it for a while now, and I think it's definitely come time for me to reintroduce myself to people. I feel like now that the show's over, I've been talking about this solo album for a while now, so I really want to put something out so people can hear my new stuff."
She also expects to concentrate on music and put acting on the back burner. "It's great now that I have more free time," she explains. "It was hard before because I did a movie and my TV show was going, so I couldn't really juggle all of it. But now that I do have more time, I definitely will be focusing on (music) more."
As for the Summer Break Tour -- which kicks off June 21 in Universal City, Calif., and runs through mid-August, with some solo headline shows for her as well -- Justice anticipates "one big, fun summer party" and is looking forward to spending some road and stage time with Big Time Rush. "They're really cool," Justice says. "They're super down-to-earth, fun guys to hang out with, and we laugh a lot when we hang out together. So I think it's going to be a great combination, and I think we'll probably do a song together, probably a cover or something. I think would be really fun for the audience to see as well."