Vincent Belorgey better know to you and me as Kavinsky is an interesting man. When he’s not collaborating with one half of Daft Punk or crafting his own 1980’s cinematically themed electro house ortalking with Rockstar Games about appearing on their latest Grand Theft Auto release then he’s busy writing the next chapter in the life story of his zombie alter ego that we first heard from on the immensely popular Nightcall from cult movie Drive. An enigmatic character, fiercely creative but with a playful streak we caught up with the mischievous French electro don to discuss his love affair with the 1980’s, various side projects and the new album and upcoming live show…
Hi Vincent, if I could take you back to the beginning for a bit. What were your early influences and when did you first decide you wanted to produce electronic music?
Hello! I used to and am still listening to mostly to rap. Since I was 14 I’ve enjoyed Public Enemy and things like that so at first I wasn’t really into electronic music. Then in high school and college I met some people who were really into it such as Mr. Oizo and they tried to get me into it and I took some convincing! For me at that point everything I’d heard was too cold and perhaps I wasn’t ready for it. The Mr. Oizo gave me a promo CD from called Arpanet and it was an album that changed my opinion on electronic music. That Detroit sound I discovered through him the Model 500 and Juan Atkins sound and that music really changed my opinion. I realized that not all electronic music was really fast BPM boom boom boom!
Is it true Mr. Oizo gave you a mac as your first piece of production equipment?
Yeah that’s a true story! Yes, it was ready for the trash and I asked him to let me try with it and he was like “cool”. So that was my first piece of equipment with some software on it.
It seems that everybody in French electronic music is linked somehow…
That’s Paris. It’s a small city so everybody is linked somehow linked! But this isn’t the case in other cities like Marseille.
Tell us about your work in the film ‘Steak’. Was acting a passion of yours?
I’m acting in that as myself, I didn’t do the soundtrack. Sebastian did, which was really great. I say that not because I am also French but because it is great. Acting was not a passion of mine but it was cool to be at a bar and talk to a girl and be like “I’m an actor…” that’s always cooler. I’m actually quite shy with new people.
You gained mainstream recognition for the track ‘Nightcall’ after it appeared on the film Drive. How did that come about? Was that specially commissioned or did they just pick the piece up?
The track was made like 2 years before with G-Man from Daft Punk. We never set out to make a hit we just wanted to record a ballad of a conversation of a zombie with his ex girlfriend. It was just a perfect moment to make a track with a good friend.
It’s quite an interesting concept. A zombie with consciousness what made you develop this story behind the track?
It’s just a story I invented to help me compose my music; to get some images to compose my music my music to. It’s like a timeline, a film in my head that I’m writing a soundtrack for.
Now my younger brother doesn’t listen to electronic music at all but he’s a fan of your work after being exposed to it via Grand Theft Auto’s radio shows. How did this come about and do you think this type of media exposure helped get your productions to a more unlikely audience? And are you on the next game?
Ah yeah. That was cool. Yeah, Rockstar games are very secretive. Even from me! They have pushed back the release date. It’s now further back. I don’t know if it’ll be one track on the radio! It’ll be a big surprise even for me! I was really happy to be on Vice City with my Sebastien remix and hear the guy say “Kavinksy!” on the radio.
Vice City was set in the 1980’s. You’ve propagated a very 80’s sound over the years, is that a conscious thing?
Well you always hate the decade after and before! My soul is 80’s. There were so many cool movies and video games. Luckily the 80’s was the start of a lot of cool stuff so I enjoy going back to the sound of that decade.
Do you enjoy the analogue sound of the decade?
Yeah but I’m not giving away all my tricks! I’m not one of these guys who uploads all his stuff on facebook like “Check out all my gear”… I hate wires so the less the wires the better. I already have too much stuff on my computer!
I saw a very funny video the other day of a DJ in Serbia pretending to DJ on CDJ’s whilst they clearly weren’t plugged in. So no wires were necessary apparently…
Haha. Was it not David Guetta? No? Surely it was David! Are you sure… Of course he may have been in disguise… I’ve never been to Serbia but I went to Poland recently and it was really cool. Everyone thought I was Polish and we had a really good time.
What music are you listening to right now? What could you recommend to us that you’re enjoying at the moment?
Er, French Montana, not because he’s French because he’s not! He’s an American rapper and Tangerine Dream are quite cool. I’m quite eclectic in my choices.
Variety is good! What are your future plans for the coming year. Obviously there is the new album.
Well I’m in the studio recording a live version so I want to create a live show with everything as DJ sets are cool but don’t have as much risk, I don’t want to carry this album with clubs really. I want to play other cool venues and have a really cool set-up with lasers, big smoke, lights and lots of gadgets! Hopefully in some big venues we really want to go for it.
Will we be seeing any more collaborations?
Yes. Like 3 or 4 but I can’t tell you who just yet!
We’ve spoken a lot about films and I know you are quite a cinephile. What would be your 3 favorite films?
Er, Fast and the Furious 3… No I’m kidding! I actually really like Drive, was that a big hit in the UK? Yes? Ah I won’t say that then. I really like classic cinema like John Carpenter’s Christine, about the murdering car. I love Jaws it’s a classic like Ben Hur and ah my third would be Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Will we see a remix edition of the new album?
Yeah yeah. Definitely. I don’t pick remixes based on “oh have this guy, he’s really big right now” it’s just who we think is cool. I’m really pleased with the Blood Orange and Boys Noize remixes. With Boys Noize we knew it would be really energetic and we’re really happy with it.
Do you have any plans outside of music for the future?
To stop drinking! I want to continue my zombie story via my video’s. Each video is another chapter to a never ending story that maybe we’ll put together on a dvd with a future album.
Check out the latest chapter in the life of our undead hero in Kavinsky’s new video ‘Protovision’ from the upcoming album ‘Outrun’