Virginia to Vegas: Betterman
Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda
Artist: Virginia to Vegas
Songwriters: Mike Wise, Geoffrey Warburton, Derik John Baker, David Charles Fisher
Date released: 2020 by Virginia to Vegas
Derik John Baker, known as Virginia To Vegas, was born on January 31, 1990, in the state of Virginia, United States, but he is now a dual citizen residing in Toronto, Canada. He is a musician, singer and songwriter, best known for his gold and platinum-certified singles, "We Are Stars", "Lights Out", "Selfish", "Just Friends" and "Betterman", which were released through Wax Records and Ultra Records. The name of the band, "Virginia to Vegas," came from his partner who was born in Las Vegas, US, and thus was formed a hybrid of both birthplaces.
Baker was raised in Guelph and Toronto, Ontario, where he attended high school at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute and Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School . After high school, Derik attended Sheridan College for studies in Travel and Tourism.
V-to-V was signed to an independent Canadian music company, Wax Records, in July 2013, after label executive, Jamie Appleby, discovered him on YouTube. The first single "We Are Stars" was released on January 7, 2014.
V-to-V is best known for his indie-pop choruses and sticky electronic melodies, which have awarded him critical acclaim and several platinum certifications. In 2018, he expanded his reach internationally, co-writing the single “IDWK” with blackbear and DVBBS. Baker’s most recent release, “Just Friends,” saw Virginia to Vegas reach new heights, garnering a top 5 chart position at Canadian radio. Baker is poised to continue his incredible success with new music coming in early 2020.
V-to-V tries to write stories with elements of personal experience in them, almost autobiographical. The influences come from all over the place. In “Betterman", the chorus is kind of country, and the progression is kind of like (French indie pop band) Phoenix, so he prefer dance music, indie rock. He sums it all up by saying: "Whatever is a good song is a good song."
Speaking about "Betterman", Baker had this to say:
"'Betterman' is a song about personal growth and reflection. In my personal life and career, I’ve experienced many ups and downs, but ultimately the one thing I’ve found to calm anxiety and doubt is putting in work on myself. This song touches on the idea of growing up following a breakup and the journey home.