12670144_1162836113736957_1319836145749641920_nFor better or worse (and let’s be real, it’s likely for worse), hip hop on the whole is a largely male dominated musical genre. That’s not to say the genre hasn’t had its standout female performers, but the reality is that the majority of the artists are men.

Which makes Montreal’s female hip hop duo “Heartstreets” even more of a standout.

Bringing together bits and pieces of late 90’s hip hop with more modern melodic flows and synthy beats, Heartstreets deliver a brand of hip hop that is undoubtedly unique.

Heartstreets are Emma Beko and Gab Godon and they’ll be bringing their unique vision to Osheaga.

They were kind enough to answer a few questions as we gear up to this weekend’s festivities:

Keith: You’ve played at Montrel Jazz Fest, Pop Montreal and now Osheaga. How important is it to call Montreal home as up and coming musicians?

Gab: In my opinion, having played on these different stages brings us a great sense of belonging and if one day we get to be propelled on the international scene, Montreal will be etched forever on our heart. The city constantly contributes to our accomplishments and really supports us, as it does with all its local artists.

Emma: It’s always important to have somewhere to call home and Montréal is definitely a very warm and welcoming city. There’s also so much talent here that keeps us inspired and motivated!

K: You’ve mentioned that you are inspired by late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop. What were some of the tracks/artists that really stood out as influences for you?

G: I remember learning songs by heart when I was younger. It was one of my favourite hobbies and the Fugees were the first band that really stuck with me, or should I say, Lauryn Hill really stuck with me and never left my side! Miss Dynamite, Alicia Keys and Mary J Blige are among my top influences as well. I love to get inspired by up and coming artists like SZA and her new album <3

E: Biggie and Pharcyde were the first ones for me. My aunt gave me the tapes when I was like 8 years old!  When I moved to New York as a teen I got properly introduced to AZ, Cormega and the members of Wu-tang Clan. We also definitely jammed to the Early 2000’s. Eminem, Ashanti, Nelly, Kelly Rowland and 50 Cent.

K: Hip-hop is often considered to be a very “male dominated” form of music. Do you have any advice to girls who would want to follow their dreams in the genre?

G: It’s badass to be a girl and to rap or sing and scream and get crazy. It’s NOT weird or scary to try it, it’s just badass. My advice to you, be BADASS.

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Photo credit Vinna Laudico.

E: Whatever you do in hip-hop (music in general), the most important is to talk about what you know and be 100% real. Then, no one can bring you down or call you a poser because you are genuine and that’s always respectable.

K: Your music videos all seem to have an almost surreal quality. How involved are you in the artistic direction of the videos/do they have special meanings to you?

G: We always want to be as involved as possible in our different projects, but without the directors we’ve worked with, we wouldn’t have the visuals we have now. We’re very lucky to be surrounded by close people with so much talent and vision to help grow our band.

E: We are involved in the process from A to Z and like Gab said, we surround ourselves well!

K: This year seems pretty big for you, with spots at NXNE and now Osheaga. What can Heartstreets fans look forward to in the near future?

G: This year is definitely going to get wild! The only thing we can say for now, is that we’ll be dropping some new material soon enough…

E: I wish we could reveal it all right now!! But you’ll have to wait and see 😉

Heartstreets will be performing at Scène Verte Sonnet
Sat, August 5, 1:30 PM > 2:05 PM. Tickets and more infor HERE.

In the meantime, check out their video for “Curising With You: below:

All photos from Heartstreets Official Facebook Page

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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