ABOVE: VINCENT BELORGEY, AKA KAVINSKY. IMAGE COURTESY OF VINCENT DESAILLY
Before pursuing music, French-born Vincent Belorgey was an actor—and his background may explain his decision to release music from behind the guise of a Testarossa-driving, vengeful zombie, introduced to the world in 2006 as Kavinsky.
Like his friends and collaborators from the French electro scene—Justice, Surkin, and the late DJ Mehdi—Kavinsky makes a specific type of electronic music that’s decidedly dark but danceable. After releasing three EP’s throughout the late-2000s, Kavinsky got some well-deserved attention for his song “Nightcall,” which was featured heavily in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s 2011 crime saga Drive. In cementing his cinematic sound and his character’s tale, Kavinsky teamed with guest vocalists and producer/friend SebastiAn for his recently-released debut, OutRun.
We got a chance to speak with Kavinsky as he prepared for his album release party in London, and discussed his debut record, Fast and Furious, and his “very laser” live show.
DAN BUYANOVSKY: So OutRun has been getting some very positive reviews.
KAVINSKY: Yes, it’s very cool. I’m quite happy, actually. I’m always looking at Twitter and there’s always some good vibes and good stuff about the album. I’m very happy.
BUYANOVSKY: Has anything changed for you, since it came out?
KAVINSKY: Nothing’s changed, really. I’m touring and doing these parties, but in real life, my private life hasn’t changed. I’m just doing the same, seeing my friends, and that’s it. I’m a normal guy, and I’ll be a normal guy. I’m staying a normal guy.
BUYANOVSKY: Did you bring in outside musicians for the record, or only vocalists?
KAVINSKY: Actually, not so many people on the album. We’ve got Lovefoxx for “Nightcall,” and Havoc for “Suburbia,” and after that it’s just one guy on the electric guitar, which is on five tracks. For the rest, it’s just me and my producer, SebastiAn.
BUYANOVSKY: I know you two are friends—what was his involvement, and how did it change the way the album came out?
KAVINSKY: Well, everybody thinks I’ve been working on the album since 2006 or 2007, I don’t know why. People cannot understand that you’re just making EPs for fun, and that you don’t want to be involved in an LP. I never got the pressure to make an album, it was just music for fun. But my producer said I needed a full-length, because people are gonna love it. This was like in 2010. So I went to the studio and was working on music, and I decided to invite SebastiAn to produce my music for a few tracks. I really know the guy, and of course I really love what he’s doing, and he’s a guy I know I can work with. I’m not into going into the studio with a big asshole, just because he’s talented. It’s not really about that, I need to be in the studio with a guy I love.
BUYANOVSKY: And it’s nice to have a friend as talented as he is.
KAVINSKY: Yes, and for me it was very helpful, because I was very stuck with my music and he helped me to get an exterior view on it, and he could say to me, “This is too much,” or “This is not enough.” So we started to make some tracks together, and then… [pauses] And then that’s it.
BUYANOVSKY: How do you think the project will translate to a live show?
KAVINSKY: Well, I’m doing the release parties, then I’m going back to the studio to make my live show, because we need to carry the project on stage, but not just like a DJ set I’m doing now. It’s fun to do DJ sets, everyone is drunk and screaming your name. But I want some danger, I want to be more involved in the project, so I’m going to go to the studio to put down the live music. I can’t wait for this.
BUYANOVSKY: Will it just be you, or a full band?
KAVINSKY: It will be just me, but trying not to be hidden by a laptop and shaking my leg for an hour. I would say it will be very lightning, very smoky, and very laser. I really want to do a light and smoke show. Definitely not—and I hate this name—as an “electro guy” who’s playing music for you on his laptop. It will be very, very… [pauses] We’re working on it. [laughs]
BUYANOVSKY: After Drive, did a lot of other filmmakers approach you to use your music in their films?
KAVINSKY: Actually, yes. Some people have asked me for stuff, which I can’t tell you about right now. But one I said no to was Fast and Furious 6 or 7. It’s going to be released very soon, and I really didn’t want to be involved with it. It would be very rubbish to make Drive, and then Fast and Furious. It’s better to do Fast and Furious than Drive, but when you do Drive, you don’t want to make some car movie again. But yeah, people have gotten in touch, and it’s really cool for people to be asking for music for movies. It’s kind of crazy, for me. Yeah, yeah, it’s fucking cool.
BUYANOVSKY: Your music is very cinematic and atmospheric, so it must be a director’s dream to be find songs that already set a certain mood.
KAVINSKY: Yeah, yeah. It’s a dream for me, too. I was a big fan of the director of Drive [Nicolas Winding Refn], especially the Pusher trilogy. I’m a huge, huge fan of that trilogy. It was one of the best moments of my life, to get to the cinema and not know where my music is, at the opening or the credits, or the ending. I was like a kid in Disneyland.
BUYANOVSKY: Kavinsky is famous for driving a Testarossa. What three cars would you drive, if not the Testarossa?
KAVINSKY: I would say the DB9—the Aston Martin. I would say… the De Tomaso Pantera. And the last one, I really want the Audi RS.
BUYANOVSKY: Do you ever get tired of the Kavinsky character? Do you have to maintain it, or has it become a part of you?
KAVINSKY: It’s weird, because when you think of Kavinsky, this is me, but it’s also zombies, and the car. It’s a character, it’s not really me. My name is Vincent. Kavinsky is just the character of the story. But if I feel like making something else or something different, I would use a different name because it would be very rubbish to change Kavinsky’s story now. Kavinsky has to stay the same, with the zombie shit and the car.
BUYANOVSKY: What would a Kavinsky video game be like?
KAVINSKY: We’re actually doing a Kavinsky video game, for real. It’ll be for the iPhone and iPad and Android. I’m very happy about the game. It’ll be out in a week or two weeks, and I hope to get good feedback, then make a full one for the PS4 or something. That’s one of my biggest dreams, to have a real game. I hope everybody loves the iPhone game, it’s really good, but the project to make a real one for the big screen, that would be the best day of my life.