Feb. 19 marks a celebratory milestone for multi-hyphenate Victoria Justice, and not just because the former “Victorious” actor is turning 30. After a year of promising fans new music, Justice will debut her long-awaited single, “Last Man Standing,” today.
“I’m stepping into my 30s in this place of feeling empowered,” Justice tells Variety of timing the release to her birthday. “I feel like this song really captures a lot of that energy, and it’s fun, and it’s kind of sexy, and it’s got these very strong themes of female empowerment, so it just felt like a really good fit.”
“Last Man Standing” features intoxicatingly upbeat vocals from Justice set to a breezy, four-chord riff on the acoustic guitar. The performer’s talent is on full display in the song’s chorus, for which she sings in an ethereal high register. Cementing her place in pop iconography, the track is a welcomed follow-up Justice’s previous tracks, like 2021’s “Too F*ckin’ Nice” and 2020’s “Treat Myself.”
To date, Justice has released six singles, including her latest song. Justice’s vocals also appear on the soundtracks of films she starred in like “Afterlife of the Party,” “Trust” and 2016’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.” As she embarks on the next chapter of her life, the budding pop star is committed to releasing her first studio album.
“I definitely am releasing an album — that’s happening,” Justice affirms. “I can’t say that that is done right now by any means, but I think right now, I’m focusing on releasing some singles. I have a collection of songs right now that I’m really proud of.”
Justice adds that, if given the opportunity to collaborate with any artist, she’d love to work alongside fellow songwriter Raye, best known for the TikTok viral track “Escapism.” with 070 Shake. She ponders the dream collab with a soft grin, proceeding to recite the song’s popular line, “A little context if you care to listen,” in Raye’s distinctive British accent.
With no plans to slow down her acting career anytime soon either, the near future will also see Justice appear on-screen in upcoming films “California King” and “The Tutor.” The latter is a thriller starring Justice, Garrett Hedlund and Noah Schnapp, in which she takes on her first role as a pregnant woman.
“It was really funny, just putting on my little one-piece pregnancy suit,” Justice says, describing the surreality of the role as she, too, begins to think about one day starting a family. “I found myself rubbing it a lot. Honestly, I would just be rubbing it all the time.”
“The Tutor” marks a stark transition for Justice, whose recent performance in the Netflix rom-com “A Perfect Pairing” similarly evidences the ex-Nickelodeon actor leaning into mature characters. And it doesn’t look like she’s turning back anytime soon.
Known to “Zoey 101” fans as Lola Martinez, Justice confirms she will not be returning to the cast for the upcoming reboot of the popular Nickelodeon series. On Jan. 12, the network announced a sequel film was in the works at Paramount+ with actors Jamie Lynn Spears, Erin Sanders, Sean Flynn, Matthew Underwood, Christopher Massey, Abby Wilde and Jack Salvatore reprising their original roles.
“The timing of everything didn’t work out, but I’ve been in touch with Jamie and the entire cast, and they could not be more understanding and more supportive,” Justice says. “Ultimately, I would love to be there with them. I loved doing that show. It was such a pivotal point in my life, and I had so much fun making it. I love that cast; we had such a great time, and I just have so much love for them.”
Justice notes she’s not opposed to the idea of doing a reboot of one of her prior works, though she cautiously weighed the pros and cons. On one hand, she says, some stories are better left untouched. But by the same token, Justice proudly recognized the extensive impact of projects like “Victorious” and “Zoey 101” on so many children’s lives.
“I feel really grateful. I feel really content in the place that I am in life right now, and I’m hopeful and excited for the future,” Justice add. “I’m really looking forward to releasing the new music that I’ve been working on. And I hope that people love it and resonate with it. And I just want to express like all the gratitude that I have for my fans and the people who have been supporting me for, well, I don’t know, like two decades.”