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Heart Streets Prove Great Things Come in Twos

Claire McArthur

Claire McArthur

From school bus sing-a-longs to packed shows in Montreal, Heart Streets have come a long way.

Heart Streets is the combined efforts of Montreal musicians Gabrielle Godon and Emma Beko. The combination of Godon's deep, soulful voice and Beko's rap prowess and beats would likely turn Kaytranada green and have Sango take note.

The two met when they were just nine-years-old and realized they shared a passion for hip-hop, R&B, and performing. They first went into the studio together in 2011 and Heart Streets was born.

"We used to do hip-hop choreography together for shows in elementary school," says Beko of Heart Strets' humble beginnings. "Then in high school, we would sing on the bus and stuff like that."

Their sound evolved from school bus sing-a-longs into what it is today—a perfect mix of soul, R&B, and hip-hop—by a natural progression of music exposure and consumption. "It has always been natural for us when it comes to old school hip-hop, R&B, and all that late '80s and '90s music. We love Mary J Blige, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, and Biggie Smalls. We always end up closer to our roots which is pretty much what happened with our latest single ["Under My Skin"]."

After recording their first EP in April 2011, Heart Streets played their first show at Bistro de Paris a mere week later. By the time Godon and Beko walked onto the stage, the place was packed.

"That's when we realized something was happening," Beko remembers.

Then, in 2013, Heart Streets made a second EP entitled Beats, Blunts and Broads and collaborated with different artists on multiple side projects. One project being the LOL Boys hit "Changes".

The duo took a short break before getting back in the studio in 2014. "Under My Skin" is Heart Streets' latest single, the track was funded in part by Metropolis Bleu and Telus to raise awareness about body issues for young women. "We worked with the foundation Metropolis Blue, which I had been in contact with before and knew they really liked our work, wanted to support local talent, and reach out to more people through our music," Godon explains. "We're super excited we got involved in that project."

Both are extremely proud of their past shows and praise their first-ever show in Montreal as being one of their favourites. "I'm proud of us for planning that first show at Bistro de Paris four years ago because we would not be here right now if it weren't for that. I'm also so proud of us playing Budapest. And at Paris, when fans sang the lyrics with us," says Godon.

"In all honesty I'm often proud of what we're doing. There isn't a moment in particular that stands out to me. I find myself sometimes just taking it all in and smiling because of what we've accomplished and how far we've gone," adds Beko. "We started out knowing nothing about the business but we've handled ourselves pretty well this far."

As for their 2015 plans, the duo have a debut album is in the works. "There's no definite date on the album. We are working on one but want to make sure it's the best it can be, so we won't rush it," says Beko.

Heart Streets is picking up speed and aren't about to hit the brakes. "Plans for 2015 include working our asses off to make sure Heart Streets gets the exposure it deserves," says Beko. We have no doubt that is exactly what they will do.

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