Zola Jesus’ ongoing spring tour hit Budapest last week, which gave a chance for local artist Belle Belle to introduce his dreamy musical project as an opening act. The twenty-two year old video and music producer Bence Nagy invited us on a space journey to a far galaxy in search of the undiscovered. He is devoted to experimenting with flowing electronics, accompanied by atmospheric visuals and a cinematic mood.
Electronic Beats: Please tell us about yourself and your love of video and music making.
Belle Belle: I first got involved with video in high school, making films with friends. First it was just a hobby and experimentation until we got shortlisted by film festivals in Amsterdam and Dresden. In fact, it was a strong motivation to write my own songs for the videos and that’s how music making came to the forefront. Also, I was learning music for twelve years, like playing piano, guitar and violin. But I always considered both audio and video as very important to me.
Making music and directing videos are equal parts of your creative output?
Yes. I’m also working as a graphic designer. All of my video and short film projects are strongly influenced by a certain sonic atmosphere, and my music has a very cinematic mood. I like doing projects dealing with visual and sonic expression with an equal emphasis.
How did you get involved with electronic music?
It was always important for me, my first songs were 8-bit tracks made on Gameboy and Commodore-64. It was the beginning for me; I like how they sound very much. But I didn’t see too many possibilities in that genre, so I didn’t go on. I’m collecting analog-electronic organs and synths, I’ve ten properly working ones and four ones that I’m repairing now. I like modifying them to develop new sounds as well.
Was there something on your mind while making your recent album Pain Of Horses?
I’m always looking for something new in music. Apart from the unconscious visual mood and melancholy, maybe this experimentation was what describes the album. I knew what I wanted to achieve, and if that succeeded then I’m satisfied. I played all the instruments.
Tell us more about your videos. What were you inspired by?
My videos usually work as a film scene without any prehistory or end; they just show a particular situation. And I’m inspired by literature, especially the novels of Jorge Luis Borge. His magic realism always has something surreal that I like to referencein my videos. In general someone who creates something very new inspires me, it stimulates me to do something unique. Daft Punk’s Electroma film is one of my favorites, and my all-time favorite song is ‘L’Amour Et La Violence’ by Sébastien Tellier. Also, the audio and visual works of Pink Floyd had a huge influence on me.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m working on some new EPs and a new LP, coming out hopefully this year. We’re working on new videos for my tracks with Márton Somorjai and Daniel Feles. We will perform at the Live Performers Meeting, an international multimedia festival in Rome, with Daniel and Áron Birtalan (from Kanagawa and failotron). And I’m planning also some new musical and art projects and collaborations for this year.
Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus was one of our favorite artists last year. Her experimental, ice-cold dark-pop is something we can’t get enough of. After her 2009 debut The Spoils she got wider recognition with the Stridulum EP followed by her successful sophomore LP Stridulum II in 2010 and her most recent effort Conatus in 2011.
The 23 year old Russian-American singer has made some great collaborations such as providing vocals to M83’s and Orbital’s new albums or being remixed by her fan, the legendary David Lynch. To dig deeper into her mind and discover thoughts on her music watch this EB TV exclusive feature. You can also read a brief interview with her, as well as her comments on her icon David Cronenberg, that was originally featured in the Electronic Beats Magazine’s winter issue. We had goosbumps at her live show at the Electronic Beats Festival Warsaw last December so we highly recommend you see her live if you can.
Fill in the form below to win 2×2 tickets for Zola Jesus’ Budapest show on 7th April at A38 Ship, she will be supported by local talents Belle Belle (rsvp on Facebook here).
Stream Zola Jesus’ Conatus and read our review on it.
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