Dave and Victoria
Intercontinental duo finds harmony in music, marriage
By Brian Passey for The Spectrum
She’s a former Miss Sweden who discovered music through her homeland heroes, Abba, but idolized American jazz and soul artists. He’s a Utah boy who studied opera but has an affinity for singer-songwriters like Paul Simon. Together, they are Dave and Victoria, the Springdale couple whose mutual love for music – and eventually for each other – could not be separated by an ocean. Victoria Lagerström began singing with a church choir at age 10 but was soon interested in solo performance. She started voice lessons at 14 with a focus on soul and jazz, influenced by her father’s record collection that included Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight and others. Although she had a passion for singing, other pursuits delayed a fulltime investment in music. For a time, she concentrated on modeling, eventually becoming Miss Sweden in 1997. But Lagerström says she got sick of the “superficial mess” of the beauty industry and went on a “spiritual journey” in her mid-20’s where she began to write songs. She recorded an album and began to play live music throughout her native Stockholm.
Meanwhile, half a world away in Southern Utah, Dave Tate was in high school, playing in a ska-punk band called Jimmy’s First Kiss. He started out singing in the Salt Lake Children’s Choir as a kid. He began playing guitar at age 14 so he could write his own songs and his mother had a synthesizer keyboard he used to create the bass lines and drumbeats for his mini-compositions. After gigging locally with Jimmy’s First Kiss, Tate moved to Salt Lake City, attending the University of Utah for a time before he dropped out and returned to performing. Later he moved to Logan where he studied classical voice at Utah State Universtiy and briefly considered a career as an opera singer. In 2006, he chose to concentrate on his own music, which is influenced by Simon, Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley and James Taylor, among others. While playing with a band in Salt Lake City, Tate met Victoria via Myspace, the social networking Web site that has helped many musicians launch careers in a recent years. Victoria says she spent a lot of time using her Myspace page to promote her music. “Then I met Dave on Myspace she says. “I had my music up there and he had his music up there and I just found him one day there randomly. I was really awestruck by his voice and music,” she says. Lagerström says she felt the energy of Utah’s landscapes from the nature photos on Tate’s Myspace page. acknowledging it was foreign to her because of her fast paced Stockholm lifestyle. She also felt a similarity in their mellow music and wanted to collaborate. So they began to chat online. “We were very much in love before I came over here,” she says. “I don’t know how that happens. I always said I would never date over the Internet.” Tate says he flet the same way about Internet dating, but that didn’t stop them.
Lagerstrom says she also remembered a tarot card reading during which she was told she would meet a man from the mountains near Las Vegas. She came to the United States in January 2007 armed with a return ticket to Sweden. But she never used it. “We ended up getting married three weeks after my arrival,” Lagerström says. The couple was married on the Kolob Terrace, near Zion National Park, and moved six times before settling in Southern Utah near Tate’s family. During that time they managed to record an album together called “The Same Heart.” They both also have solo albums they continue to sell, many of them via the Internet.
After they were married, the couple traveled to Europe. They toured the Netherlands – even playing a few sold out shows –and spent a month in Sweden with L Lagerström’s family where Tate experienced the culture shock his wife still feels at times. Although the United States is quite different from where she spent most of her life, Lagerström says she is happy to be here. She enjoys how free and positive she feels here and says the energy she feels in Southern Utah is grounding. “Ideally we’d love to live here some day and settle down but we don’t know where our music will take us,” she says. For now, though, the duo is concentrating on treating Southern Utahns to Dave and Victoria’s own brand of contemporary folk music.