Grapevine: Villeneuve releases debut single

Jacques Villeneuve will release his debut single for his new album in Montreal next weekend, during the Canadian Grand Prix

Grapevine: Villeneuve releases debut single

The former world champion revealed last month that he has recorded an album last winter, and the Canadian said he has had high demand since to release a song from the album.

The debut single, called "Accepterais-tu?" will go on sale as of next Monday, June 26th, at Villeneuve's restaurant Newtown on Cresent street in downtown Montreal. Only 5,000 copies will be offered on sale.

The song will also be available on iTunes later in the week, and can also be heard on Villeneuve's music page at www.myspace.com/jvofficial.

The album is expected to be released worldwide towards the end of the year.

Q & A with Jacques Villeneuve

Conducted and provided by Villeneuve's PR agency

Q: It's really incredible that you have written and recorded this album. What made you want to do this?

Villeneuve: "I've always loved music. My grandfather was a piano tutor, my father played piano and trumpet, and my sister is a musician as well. So music has always been in the family. I've been writing songs for many years, I've just never taken it to the next step until now.

"As soon as last season finished in November, when it wasn't yet announced that I was staying with the team [BMW-Sauber], I had nothing else to do, so I decided to go into the studio, get a few people together and see what it would sound like fully produced."

Q: Do you write your own music and lyrics?

Villeneuve: "Yeah, I write my own music and for half the album I wrote the lyrics to the music, the other half is either songs from friends or songs that I liked.

"I think it's important to have different material, not only stuff you write yourself, just to get a different influence. There are some great songs out there that need to be produced, some real hidden gems, so I wanted to do them and see how they would sound as well."

Q: How do you go about writing a song?

Villeneuve: "There isn't one way. Sometimes it's something that you think when you're falling asleep, and it goes around your head so you switch the light on and write a few lines down. Then from those lines you get a feel and a vibe and you can write the rest of the song.

"Sometimes it's an idea you have and you work around it, sometimes it's the music that starts first, but it's never one way.

"Then there are some songs that are really a lot of work, trying to get an idea out, so it basically doesn't come from the sky."

Q: What style of music do you play?

Villeneuve: "On the album I just play the piano once, because the professional musicians could play it better and it sounded better on the recording. I write the songs, and when you're on stage you can play whatever you want! Mainly I'm playing acoustic guitar.

"There are a few duets on the album. One is with my sister Melanie. Just after my father died, she had written a song about it that she had never managed to finish. So a few years ago she asked me to finish it, and when it was done I decided it would be great to record it, so we did it as a duet.

"Also, on another song, I got my little sister Jessica to sing a little bit with me, which was a lot of fun. It was nice to get the family involved."

Q: Do you play in a band or is this a solo project?

Villeneuve: "It's a solo project, but I used the same guys for bass guitar and drums for the whole album so the feeling was like a band, we really gelled well."

Q: How long did the recording process take and how did you fit it in with the F1 schedule?

Villeneuve: "It took a full month of work almost every day, and we also worked around Christmas and New Year's Eve, so the whole holiday was spent in the studio. Once I got into driving again I couldn't spend time on the CD anymore."

Q: This really is a first; a racing driver turned singer/songwriter. What success do you expect to achieve with your music, and what reaction are you expecting from both the motorsport and music industries?

Villeneuve: I have no idea if it can be a success or not. When I started, it wasn't for that reason, it was purely to see how the music would sound if it was fully produced.

"I had been working on songs for a long time, and sometimes you can be proud of what you write, but you have no idea if it's going to sound any good or not. It's only your friends that hear it, and of course they're going to say it's great because they're your friends and the same thing with the family.

"So it was important to me to see what could be done with them and we're quite happy with the results, so it will get out there!

"There will be high criticism, of course, because I'm a race car driver, and anytime you do something that's not your job it pisses people off, because why should you be doing it, and not someone else who is not doing anything with their life yet.

"So the criticism will be high, because it will be perceived that the only reason I did it is because I'm a race car driver and I can afford it."

Q: Do you have any plans to do some live performances?

Villeneuve: "No. My job is still racing cars, my job is not music - that's a hobby. As long as my job is still racing cars, I will concentrate on cars, so I don't expect to be touring or anything because it takes too much time and I don't have the time at the moment to prepare. I would hate to do something if I'm not properly prepared for it."

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