Béatrice “Betty” Bonifassi
(born 1971) is a French-born vocalist based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
She has a deep, contralto singing voice, sometimes referred to as “masculine”, which has been compared to that of Shirley Bassey. Bonifassi has performed music of many styles in both English and French–from jazz, to traditional music, to blues, to electronica.
In 2003 she gained international exposure when she provided the singing voices for the title characters of the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville. She has collaborated, performed and toured with musician Maxime Morin (also known as DJ Champion). Bonifassi appeared as a guest vocalist on Deweare’s album High Class Trauma (2006), and she is one half of the electronic music duo Beast. Personal life : Bonifassi was born in Nice, France to a Yugoslavian mother and a father of Niçois-Italian descent. Raised in a bilingual household, and having studied foreign languages and literature at University, she became interested in other cultures and their traditional music. She has been singing and writing music for two decades.
In 1997, Bonifassi met her now ex-husband,Québécois composer Benoît Charest, while singing Jimi Hendrix covers at a Montreal jazz club. Later that year she moved from France to Montreal to join Charest, and has lived in the Canadian city ever since. Work with DJ Champion: In the late 1990s, Benoît Charest and Montreal DJ and musician Maxime Morin became co-owners of Ben & Max Studios – a company specializing in jingles and soundtracks.
In 2001 Morin sold his share in the company back to Charest in order to continue his own musical career under the pseudonym DJ Champion, however he remained in contact with Bonifassi and Charest: Morin performed bass and percussion on the song “Belleville Rendez-vous”, from the 2003 animated film, Les Triplettes de Belleville and he also performed this song live with Bonifassi and Charest at the 76th Academy Awards ceremony-
In 2004 Bonifassi collaborated with Morin once again (performing as “DJ Champion”) on his 2004 debut album, Chill’em All. The album included the hit single “No Heaven” which is a soulful and blues inpired by Negro Songs of Protest, Bonifassi sings a plaintive tune reminiscent of the work songs sung by the chain-gangs of the American South in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the success of Chill’em All, Bonifassi toured for over two years with “Champion & His G-Strings”.
In 2008 the pair recorded a version of 1957 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hit “I Put a Spell on You” to be used as the theme song of the Québécois film Truffe. Les Triplettes de Belleville: Bonifassi and Charest collaborated on the soundtrack for the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville; the film’s main song, “Belleville Rendez-vous”, was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 and the pair performed the song, along with Maxime Morin, at the 76th Academy Awards . Wikipedia link
Bonifassi joined the record producer, and fellow French expat, Jean-Philippe Goncalves, to form the band Beast. The band released their first album in Nov 2008. Beast’s sound has been compared with trip-hop, only with a bit more aggression. Bonifassi’s vocal stylings also lean more towards rap and spoken-word. Bonifassi is the songwriter and composer and Goncalves is composer and producer of the album Beast and Canadian singer-songwriter Simon Wilcox also assisted Bonifassi (whose native tongue is French) with lyrics, which are all performed in English. “Simon really understood my dark side and the sadness of the moment,” says Bonifassi. “I really wanted to sing something lyrically rich and powerful. Beast debut album was made available on iTunes as of Nov 4, 2008; its official commercial release was Nov 18, 2008.
After Bonifassi and Goncalves announced that they would be taking an indefinite hiatus from the Beast project in late 2010, Bonifassi began to focus on solo projects including a performance at the Festival Montréal en lumière on Feb 24, 2011–making it her first solo performance since her break with Beast. Her performance included renditions of songs by Édith Piaf and Berthe Sylva, as well as a song by the Franco-Monégasque composer Léo Ferré. Bonifassi is slated to perform at the 2011 FrancoFolies festival festival held in Montreal, first as part of a performance dedicated to Serge Gainsbourg on, then in her own solo performances on two other nights.
She Working now on an album tribute to chain songs and prisoners SONG from the early 20 ‘s in South America jails.