Belgian very stylish and haute-couture laid-back singer.
46,8 sec. - 92 Kb.
song : P. Roger, V. Lazlo.
Year : 1985
Record co. : Vogue
"Last call for an angel"
54,1 sec. - 106 Kb.
song : P. Roger, B. Bergman.
Produced : Miracle!
Year : 1985
Record co. : Vogue
"Pleurer des rivières"
43,3 sec. - 85 Kb.
song : Hamilton, B. Bergman.
Year : 1986
Produced : J.P.Hawks
Record co. : Miracle records
53,4 sec. - 105 Kb.
song : P.Allaert, V.Lazlo.
Produced : Lou Depryck.
Year : 1987
Record co. : Polydor
"Teach Me To Dance"
53,4 sec. - 105 Kb.
song : Chris Rea
Produced : Bernard Lavilliers
Year : 1991
Most of the time dressed in splendid robes by the famous French designers,
this female singer brings out a lot of records filled with easy-listening music.
Her music reminds of nightclubs and prewar American films, and is mostly a mix
of jazz and more mainstream pop influences.
Victor Lazlo was born in October 7, 1960 as Sonia Dronier in Lorient,
France (from a father from Martinique and a mother from Grenada) came to study
in Belgium (Mol) and model in Brussels. There she was "discovered" by
Belgian producer Francis Depryck (the man who also made Plastic
Bertrand & had success himself as Two Man Sound
& Lou & The Hollywood Bananas). He retells that
story in "Wit-lof from Belgium". "One day I met the beautiful
and exotic girl Sonja in the nightclub "Le Mirano" in Brussels. She
wore a mini-skirt and had really long legs and a beautiful ass. I asked her if
the quality of her legs corresponded with that of her vocal abilities. She said
fuck off. In the end she finally did do backing vocals for Lou & the Hollywood
Bananas. In one take! I was stunned and immediately knew we had to do something
together." With Lou Depryck she records a duet "Casanova",
and then Alain Chamfort asked her to perform the song "Backdoor man"
for the soundtrack of the film "A Mort L'Arbitre".
Depryck rebaptised her to Viktor Lazlo, asked some songwriters to produce
glamorous and jazzy songs and portrayed her in a "Casablanca"-atmosphere
- hence the name - for the album "She". The album became an overnight
success, and fell just short of platinum in Belgium. It went on to sell over 100,000
copies in Germany and 60,000 in Japan. "Pleurer des rivières"
(a cover "Cry me a river" of Julie London) and "Canoë Rose"
become stylish hits in France. She is a polyglot (knows a lot of languages) and
has recorded in English (e.g. Backdoor man, loser, Last call for an angel, Breathless),
French (Pleurer des rivières) and Spanish (Ansiedad).
About her mysterious artist name (Her name and her sometimes slightly androgen
looks even arose a suspicion of having to deal with a transvestite. Obviously,
this was never proven), she later told Bettie Mellaerts in De Morgen : "I've
been wondering for 15 years already why I chose Viktor Lazlo as a pseudonym: it
took me years to figure it out: My parents had a daughter, but wanted a son. My
mother cried when I was born, not another girl ... That's the sort of thing you
carry with you in your life, and I did that with my name. I wanted to confirm
the male part of me, to cover my female side: Sonia stayed at home, was introverted,
shy, loved to cook, sat in front of the fireplace; While Viktor stood on stage,
was brave, vindictive, played the role everybody wanted her to".
After Sandra Kim had won the Eurovision
songfestival in the year 1986, with the dreaded "J'aime j'aime la vie",
it was Viktor Lazlo who presented the television show from Brussels the year after.
She did it - of course - in style, very "haute-couture".
"Breathless" is a cooperation with James Ingram, the American
singer who got his five minutes of fame with another duet, with Michael McDonald
"Yah mo b there". "Breathless" is a composition by Viktor
Lazlo and Philippe Allaert, who later went on to join the international renowned
group Vaya Con Dios. In 1986 and 1987, she can go
on tour in Japan no less than four times.
In 1989 - she swapped Brussels for Paris - as she later said "I left
Belgium at the height of my career, out of an instinct for survival, a necessity
to put myself at risk, not to profit from things already accomplished. Reaching
the top didn't mean I was satisfied: I had wanted a child since I was 23 and had
promised myself I would devote myself to it as soon as it was financially viable".
Consequently, she slipped out of the picture in Belgium a bit, but instead slowly
but surely gained a more prominent place in the French showbizz.
In 1990 she recorded with Boris Bergman, who writes her the album "Club
Désert" with Serge Gainsbourg and Bernard Lavilliers. Most remarkeable
tracks on that album are "Amour puissance six" (the song of Gainsbourg),
"Baisers" and a cover of "Le grisbi".
En 1991 she staged a new collaboration with the same Bernard Lavilliers (with
whom she shares a birthday), who produced the album "Mes poisons délicieux"
(my delicious poisons) for which other authors are Françoise Hardy, Chris
Réa and André Manoukian. Best known songs from this album are "La
ballade de Lisa" and the delicious "Teach me to dance".
In between, she also was asked to sing on numerous duets with other singers:
e.g. Amedeo Minghi (Vattene Amore in 1991), Juliane Werding & Maggie Reilly
("Engel wie du" in 1994), with Stefan Waggershausen ("Das erste
mal tat's noch weh" in 1990), Xavier Deluc ("Baiser Sacré"
in 1991), or albums of befriended artists (e.g. David Linx, Khadja Nin ...).
It takes until 1996 for a next album to appear "Verso", with
"Babe" as the single. The album cover features a nude backside of Viktor
Lazlo (a much searched item on the internet, according the search results on her
name), with jewels of Christian Lacroix in her hair. This album was recorded for
Warner France, on a budget that allowed her to go and record abroad: the studio
she chose was the Compass Point, on a beautiful beach in the Bahamas. Among the
guest musicians were notably Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespear (Sly & Robbie)
on bass and rhythms. This resulted in a CD with lots more funk and dub than previoiusly,
which led her to say in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad "I'm thrilled.
An entire day of interviews, and no one has asked a thing about my clothes. For
the first time in my career, they aren't taling about beauty or fashion, but about
music. For the first time they are really interested in my music.''
,,Het visuele is bij mijn carrière in de weg gaan zitten'', geeft ze
het probleem aan. ,,Niet zozeer mijn eigen gezicht, maar al die uiterlijkheden
die in wezen niets te maken hebben met datgene waar het echt om gaat: de muziek.
Het is me zo vaak gebeurd tijdens interviews dat men met geen woord daarover repte.''
Gradually, she then started to devote more of her time to acting (in movies
- e.g. Sandra Princesse rebelle, Boom Boom, Signe de Feu, Joe et Marie, Les Faussaires
- for television - e.g. Navarro, Le goût des fraises, Le secret d'Iris -
and in the theater - e.g. Black Lulu, "Hotel des deux mondes"), with
an occasional appearance on a new duet in between (e.g. with Raul Paz on "Amores"
in 1998, or with Biagio Antonacci on "Le message est pour toi"
in 1999, single that got gold again in Belgium).
Koop CD's van deze artieste
- She (Vogue/Miracle! - 1985 - In Japan en Germany werd dit album gereleased als
- Viktor Lazlo (Polydor - 1987)
- Hot and soul / Club Désert (Polydor - 1990, de twee titels zijn resp.
voor Duitsland en Frankrijk)
- Sweet, soft'n'lazy (compilation, Polydor, 1990)
- Mes poisons délicieux / My delicious poisons (Polydor - 1991)
- Verso / Back to Front (Warner, 1995)
- Canoë Rose (AMC - 1999 - reissue)
Het Belgisch Pop & Rock Archief was tot begin 2002 in handen van Dirk
Houbrechts. Om persoonlijke redenen (lees
hier waarom) stopte hij met deze website. Het archief is nu toevertrouwd
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of per post naar Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen, Steenstraat 25, 1000 Brussel.
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