We had the good fortune of connecting with Perrine Virgile and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Perrine, why did you pursue a creative career?
I think for me there was never another choice possible. Music has always been a part of my life: my mom started giving me piano lessons when I was 5 years old, and after that it felt pretty natural to keep studying music as I grew up. I attended the French Classical Conservatory, fell in love with film scoring at 13 years old after watching “Donnie Darko” and since that day, wanted to become a film composer. I got a degree in sound engineering in France after high school and moved to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where I studied Film Scoring and Music Business. Music has always been my way of expression, whether it’s through compositions I wrote or playing pre-existing pieces. I could never see myself doing something else – a career not driven by passion. My passion happens to be music and creativity, and I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love writing music. At the core, that’s what my career is all about. Whether it’s for TV, Films, Video-games or Concert music, I am incredibly fortunate that my “9-to-5” is about writing music. It wasn’t easy to get where I am though, as it took many years of hard work to get to where I am today. I was very lucky to secure an internship with composer Jeff Russo after I graduated Berklee and moved straight to Los Angeles to start my career. I worked hard to prove myself as an intern, then an assistant, and now a full-time writer, collaborating with Jeff on projects, such as The Umbrella Academy Season 2.
I am very inspired by artists that write the music they love, and make their own albums, and tour with their own music, such as Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds or Yann Tiersen. What I love about them is that they have a true musical identity that is so easily recognizable, and sometimes they get to write their music on a TV or movie project. This is the kind of career I aspire to, and I’m very excited to be working on my own first orchestral album this year! Hopefully, one day, I too will get to tour with my own music. One can always dream big, right? 🙂
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ohhhhhh so many good places to recommend! Ok food wise – I used to live in Culver City and The Culver Hotel has my favorite dining patio in LA – super cozy, great food and fantastic mojitos! Irori Sushi in Marina Del Rey is my favorite sushi place, especially if you’re looking for an authentic experience. The pizzas at Roberta’s are to DIE for – and for a cute little coffee place, C&M in Palms is the place to go! During the pandemic, my husband and I moved to Altadena, and we are still discovering restaurants in our area, but Union in Pasadena has quickly become one of our favorite spot – we just went there to celebrate our post vaccination new life 🙂 Oh and since I’m french, I have to recommend Zinque and Bistro de La Gare – two really good french places.
The beaches from Playa Del Rey till Malibu are all a must see to go hang to – I would rent a bike and drive the whole way, it’s a nice little drive and you get to explore all the beaches, the Venice Boardwalk, The Santa Monica Piere, all of these L.A. must-see places. The Griffith Observatory is good to visit to have a nice view of the city – and there are some good hikes around it, including one that takes you to the Hollywood sign.
Coming from another country, everything Hollywood always impressed me, so I would probably try to get tickets for a late night show (like Jimmy Kimmel or Conan), or try to get audience tickets for any sort of shows that are currently filming. I feel like it gives you a fun behind the scene of the industry and allows you to walk through studio lots, which I always found so exciting!
For fun times, Universal Studios is always a winner, and the WB tour is really cool, as you get to explore the Warner Bros lot and see a lot of the behind the scenes from your favorite movies/shows.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people are to be credited for where I am today, starting with both of my parents – my mom who gave me that initial passion for music and my dad who made sure I pursued it as ardently as possible. My piano teacher at the French Conservatory, René-Pierre Faedda, who told me about Berklee and its Film Scoring Program.
Claudio Ragazzi, one of my Film Scoring Berklee teachers, who, unknowingly, reignited that passion for film scoring with his incredible teaching skills when I was having many doubts about it.
Jonathan Clark, agent extraordinaire, who believed in me enough to sign me as one of his clients (and pushes me out my comfort zone when needed!!), as well as Christina Alani Azarian, whose empathy and humanity is a much needed gift in this harsh industry.
And last but not least, Jeff Russo, my mentor, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. Forever grateful 🙂
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