Almost five years since her last album, Canadian pop singer Victoria Duffield is finally back with her third studio album Day Won, which is also her first record to be released independently. Canadian radio listeners will best remember Duffield for her Top 40 hit from 2011 that went platinum, “Shut Up and Dance,” released when she was just sixteen. Young adults might also remember seeing the music video for her other hit “Break My Heart” on Family Channel…or maybe that was just me.

A few weeks ago on the day her new album was released, Duffield took to Instagram to let her followers in on the road to its release and the journey she’s been on up until this point. “At 24 I have had my fair share of trials and tribulations,” she wrote. “You would have thought that touring the country on arena stages, getting paid to sing and dance, and having a song go platinum, all by the age of 17, would have set me on a course for unimaginable fame, fortune, and freedom. But, this has not been my reality. The daily physical and mental challenges and struggles took their toll and continued to grow, and my own mental pressures and stress only expanded with it. I was taking direction from countless people on every aspect of my life and began to lose track of my own. And yet few of those people, whose aggressive opinions ring in my mind, have their lives figured out! Does anybody have it all figured out?” The answer to this question, I can confirm, is definitely a firm no.

Last February, Duffield released “WOW” as the lead single from a new album that was then called Day 1. Thereafter, she released three more phenomenal songs including “Get Me High,” “My Mistake,” and “Remember You” … and then a few months went by before we got any more information about the release of the full album. “I don’t even know what I was expecting in 2018 to be honest,” she tells Kelly on this week’s episode of the podcast. “It was a big learning curve and a continuous evolution of me, music, and plans all at the same time. So, from previously releasing songs with a label and then stepping full force into the independent world, it was a lot to take in and learn.” She must have done something right, since “WOW” reached a million streams on Spotify in just 90 days. From there, Duffield kept on trying to figure things out on her own by releasing a few more singles before ultimately deciding she wanted to the rest to be released as the full album. “I had written the songs in the summer of 2017, so I just needed this part of my life to be out there, so that’s where we are now!”

Initially, the album was going to be titled Day 1 as in the number one, but when Duffield announced the release of her third studio album on Instagram at the beginning of February, it was now called Day Won—same pronunciation, but a slightly different meaning. “[The name change] all came together within the last couple weeks,” she explained to Kelly. “It had been Day 1 as in the number one for over a year. Day 1 has to do with—as I explained in our last interview—my love of Mondays, attacking your day, and just a go-getter mentality. And then I decided that now it just makes more sense for the songs and for it all to come together as Day Won.” The decision to slightly alter the name of the album was more than that for Duffield, however. “It’s more than just the number one for me, it’s about winning the day. It’s about living every day like it’s a day to be won, and to be celebrated. It’s about realizing we’re all going to have our challenges and our struggles. It’s all about a winning mindset for me, and believing in yourself, to me, is winning. Everyone is going to have their own definition of what it means to win the day, but at the end of the day, let’s all have a collection of days we can look back on as won.”

Last year, Duffield told The Kelly Alexander Show that all the songs on her new album are under a general theme of feeling good, and that is most certainly the case. And as far as feel-good pop music goes, Day Won achieves that and more. From the Britney-meets-Timberlake throwback vibes on “Talk,” to the rush of dance energy on “The Feeling,” “My Mistake,” and “Get Me High,” the album is oh so satisfying for people who need upbeat jams as the soundtrack to their day (their day that they will now WIN). “Crazy Stupid Love” is also a cute ode to Duffield’s love of rom-coms (see if you can spot all the references throughout) as well as the contagious EDM beats on “Hiding Place,” which she told Kelly is one of her favorites from the album. “For me, all the songs on the album are cohesive, but it’s like there’s this box and each song just steps out of the box in different ways,” she said. “I love ‘Hiding Place.’ I love that song just because it makes me feel something. Actually, we wrote ‘WOW’ and ‘Hiding Place’ on the same day, and it was the first day of writing the album. So I’m curious to see if people feel that same thing too.” Overall, Duffield loves how all the different ideas and storylines for each song came together and makes her feel something special, which she believes is how every artist should feel when they release an album.

As far as releasing more music independently, Duffield is excited for what the future holds. “I am still taking on the role [of the boss] and realizing all of the options I now have. In some ways it’s scaring and in some ways it’s so liberating and exciting, because I can do anything I want. I can release a song every day next week if I want to. You can do anything you want, and the decisions are yours.” She also says this is just the start for 2019, and is gearing up for a Canada Day performance in Mississauga, Ontario this summer. Everything that’s coming together for Duffield right now has left her in a state of constant excitement, and she can’t wait to take us and all of her fans along for the ride. Day Won can be found across all music streaming platforms now and is also available for digital download on iTunes.

Parts of this interview have been slightly edited for clarity. Listen to Victoria Duffield on this week’s episode of The Kelly Alexander Show podcast here and check out past episodes on a podcast platform near you—Spotify, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or iTunes.

Jeffrey’s favorites from Day Won: “Wow,” “The Feeling,” “Talk,” “Hiding Place,” “My Mistake,” “Crazy Stupid Love,” “Get Me High,” and “Remember You”