Victoria Aitken, London based songwriter and singer

Victoria's songs have received note and praise in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Vogue, GQ, W, Elle, The Daily Telegraph and E! News. She is renowned for her tongue and cheek lyrics, and previous top 10 UK Dance Hits, such as “Queen of the House” reaching #5, “Vicky from the Yacht” which echoed her riches to rags tale and 2012’s “Fashion Boy”, a tribute to supermodel Andrej Pejic. Her latest song “Weekend Lover” appears as the lead song in Whit Stillman’s highly received “Damsels in Distress” and has provided her crossover into the US market.  

Victoria has co-authored a book which will be out soon about the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, one of the most inhospitable places on earth and the Saharawi people. Two hundred thousand people, Saharawi were exiled from their Western Sahara homeland, and settled in desert refugee villages more than three decades ago, at the beginning of their resistance to Moroccan occupation. Unable to return home and forgotten by the world, the Saharawi have made up their own state with no economy to support it. They are recognized by 82 countries worldwide. Victoria and photographer Kim Naylor travelled to the war-torn land, riddled with landmines, to understand the Saharawi people in their environment. Aitken and Naylor are the first to chronicle the daily life in the refugee camps. They put together this book as a tribute to the Saharawi plight, to their openhearted hospitality, their disciplined social structure and their extraordinary use of art for survival. The core of this work is a series of portraits of individual Saharawi taken by Naylor. This photographic journey takes the viewer across the Sahara sands and into the culture of the inhabitants. Their characters shine through the individual portraits with strength and pride.

For now Victoria talks travel and food…

Where is your most memorable travel destination and why? Aruba in the Caribbean (and Abu Dhabi – amazing – I just shot my new music video there.)  Thankfully, Aruba still hasn’t been discovered by the main throng of Caribbean-going tourists, making it still a rather serene and peaceful place to visit. Its national parks, full of rare, exotic horticulture, are wonderful and its beaches are idyllic. One is never far from a lively local bar from which merengue music plays all day long. There are bars on most corners and my favourite is a charming bar called Charlie’s, which is covered in beautiful roof titles. For dinner, the best food was at Wachooo, which features an exotic menu including goats, sheep and iguana soup — something that’s meant to be a strong aphrodisiac!

What are the best things to do while you’re there?  For me whiling the day away on the sublime beaches is undoubtedly top of my list, but there’s much to be gained from roaming amid the lively locals. They’re such culturally interesting people – they live by Indian customs, shop in Chinese stores and speak a mixture of Spanish and Dutch.  Arubans also really enjoy their rum.

If money were no object, where would you have dinner?  I would fly myself to Tokyo. For a long time I’ve been fascinated with Japanese cuisine.  In fact, it’s probably the food I’d choose above all others. It’s been hard to watch the country suffer in the aftermath of their recent earthquake, but their tragedy has only made me want to visit and explore Japan all the more.

In which country do you feel most at home?  Being half-Serb, it’s got to be Serbia. Belgrade is beautiful and so is its memorable food. I’m a great fan of the country’s traditional cheese pie, Gibanitza. I’d eat it all day and night, though admittedly, no restaurant’s version is ever as good as my grandmother’s homemade version.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten abroad?  A camel. I was in the Sahara desert and I stayed a night in a refugee camp. Unfortunately, they had nothing else going on the menu and it was a little chewy.

What is your earliest childhood holiday memory?  Learning to Ski with my family in Megeve, France. I remember crying a lot on that trip because I couldn’t quite get the hang of it, but thankfully I later mastered it when I attended school in Switzerland. In those surroundings, it was hard not to.

What do you never travel without?  My laptop. I always need to keep up with things that are happening around me.

Would you recommend a particular holiday read? I love the American writer PJ O Rourke’s books, especially the hilarious ‘My Family and Other Animals’. His work inspired me in my own writing

Which band or artist has had had the biggest inspiration on your musically?  Armin van Burren , Ememriam is sexy , fiesty, lyrical genius.

What is the best showbiz party you have attended and who was there?  A party for Rob Pattinson. I sat next to him and had no idea who he was.

For more on her book visit

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