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By: Andreanne Sasseville

Who are they:

Jean-Phi - experimental beats
Betty - a sexy, uniquely powerful voice

Jean-Phi Goncalvès was born in Angoulême (France) and Betty Bonifassi in Nice (France) – Guys, UMM already knows what you’re thinking: those sexy French women…

Upcoming album:
Beast – 2008

Their style:
Experimental/trip hop — creatively new and unheard of — beware of rapid addiction to both the modern kicking drum beats and spoken word lyrics!

Band name history:
After a few attempts, the name Beast finally came out! It represents the energy and rawness they fuel through their music. (When you hear Betty’s voice, you’ll totally understand that her instrument is an inner beast!)

How it all started:
Jean-Phi called Betty a couple years ago to record vocals on some tracks he’d been working on (Jean-Phi is also the frontman of the band Plaster and Betty lead the vocals for DJ Champion).

Their collaboration quickly resulted in a song. They both got so excited about the song that they decided to go for the full blown adventure: an album! They first played at the MIMI Awards (Montreal International Music Initiative) after party in March 2008 (and that night was a venue filled with music industry gurus!). Betty has been playing, writing and singing music for 20 years now. As for Jean-Phi, he started when he was 9 so…..20 years as well.

Inspiration or philosophy:

The main inspiration for the duo has been movie soundtracks. They appreciate the fact that in a movie, the music takes much longer to develop an idea than in one song. They have a 3 word philosophy: trash-sophisticate consciousness (trendy and artistic – true indie artists!).

Favourite city to play in:

Beast love Montreal because ‘when the crowds like what you do, they let you know! ‘

Favourite city to live in:

Betty has a preference for the South of France and says it’s beautiful everywhere and there’s the sea. (UMM agrees – what’s not to like: good wine, the ocean, cultural history and a trendy spirit – even Angelina Jolie spent some time there!)

Jean-Phi loves Montreal in the summer: ‘it’s a big city that feels like a village!’ And he also gives New York two thumbs up for the drive it gives you.

Something funny:

Betty: when she was eighteen, she used to play in an English pub called ‘chez Wayne’ in Nice with a singer/drummer who covered Barry White songs. Because of his heavy weight, he would fall asleep at any time, anywhere…even behind a drum during a gig!

Prepping before a gig:

Betty: nothing special – she enjoys good laughs…..

Jean-Phi: good laughs (we’ll assume they make each other laugh!), and the washroom (???).

Latest music purchase:

Betty: the latest Shadow Puppets song: My mistakes were made for you.

Jean-Phi: Subtle (a rap group from California).

Ultimate Goal:

Betty: becoming a genetic researcher and finding the aids vaccine with Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in her headphones. Ok, she’s just kidding: she wants to keep taking her music on the road.

Jean-Phi: being John Coltrane (in Betty’s headphones?).

You should check them out because:
It’s fresh and it’s a reflection of who they have been individually as artists within their previous musical projects, and who they are now becoming as a powerful new duo.

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