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The alter ego of French DJ Vincent Belorgey, Kavinsky's blend of influences such as French house, 16-bit video games, and especially '80s synth soundtracks helped give rise to the synthwave movement -- the title of his 2013 full-length, OutRun, is an alternate name for the genre. Often appearing in illustrated form, as on the covers of both the Teddy Boy and 1986 EPs, Kavinsky bears a striking resemblance to the French DJ himself, although the back story Belorgey created to go with his pseudonym is far removed from the artist's own modest history. The story goes that after crashing his Testarossa in 1986, Kavinsky reappeared as a zombie in 2006 to make electronic music. Luckily for Belorgey, his zombie tale serves as a good story line for a music video, as he demonstrated with the early single "Testarossa Overdrive." OutRun, his long-awaited debut album, hit number two on the French album charts. After an extended hiatus, second full-length Reborn appeared in 2022. Born in 1975 in Seine-Saint-Denis, France, Belorgey initially worked as an actor before launching his music career. He stumbled upon electronic production when he was given a discarded Apple computer by Quentin Dupieux, also known as Mr. Oizo. The fully loaded Apple inspired Kavinsky to begin creating his own tracks, while several roles in Mr. Oizo's music videos and the film Steak gave him an opportunity to meet record label executives. A recording contract followed shortly after Belorgey presented his first tracks to Record Makers head Marc Tessier du Cros. In 2006, Belorgey, under the pseudonym Kavinsky, released Teddy Boy, recorded entirely on a Yamaha DX7. The 1986 EP followed in 2007 and Kavinsky was soon touring with Justice, SebastiAn, and Daft Punk. In 2008, he released a third EP, Blazer, on the Fool's Gold label, while 2011 found his "Nightcall" being used in the title sequence for the film Drive. "Nightcall" landed on Kavinsky's 2013 effort OutRun, the album named after Sega's hit video game, which just happened to feature a Testarossa. The album's "Odd Look" was then released as a single featuring the Weeknd. Following a lengthy hiatus, Kavinsky returned in 2021 with the Gaspard Augé- and Victor Le Masne-produced "Renegade," featuring Cautious Clay, the first track released off his sophomore full-length, Reborn. The album arrived in March of 2022, and featured additional guests such as Sébastien Tellier, Kareen Lomax, and Morgan Phalen.
© Celeste Rhoads & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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