If Jeremy “Boots” Welik and Matthew “Scoops” Chaim took away anything from their McGill experience, it’s that Mondays always suck. However, the cheerful duo refused to simply accept the morose atmosphere surrounding the doomed day—in their weekly web-based series “Mondays in the Bishi,” they defeat the gloom with humour and energetic rap music. When I met the two friends on a grey Montreal version of a spring day, their passionate recount of the Boots & Scoops experience similarly brightened my afternoon.
“It was over a phone call that the idea of ‘Mondays in the Bishi’ came to us,” Welik said. “We used to have a lot of ideas but never jumped in to do it. When we came up with the concept, we just ran [with it] and [dove] in.”
Friends since Grade 6, Welik and Chaim realized early on that they shared the interests of satirical humour and rap, which is why it’s no surprise that they combined these passions and showcased them with the opportunity that a web channel provides.
Since then, the two Montrealers have been meeting every Monday in Chaim’s Mitsubishi to record their clips—hence, “Mondays in the Bishi.” From the seats of the small car they blindly explore the city while rapping and casually joking with occasional guest performers.
With an 11-episode first season on the books and a second season currently in progress, Boots & Scoop’s self-imposed frenetic rhythm of production requires a constant stream of creativity combined with enough discipline to see it to fruition. However, as both artists point out, such a desire for relentless artistic creativity becomes a real struggle when added to their full time job schedule: Chaim works in a startup simulating financial trading and Welik in a painting enterprise.
“There have been times when one of us is writing in the car while we are filming and still trying to finish up the track,” Chaim admits jokingly.
Yet, it’s this rawness and unpredictability which characterizes “Mondays in the Bishi.” Boots & Scoops’ refreshing spontaneity allows the audience to connect with the artists.
“It’s all unscripted, it’s just about how we feel that day,” says Welik. “Through the episodes, we have become more relaxed in the car, so we are just our everyday selves in front of the camera.”
They also have a distinct chemistry that shows up on-screen.
“We met in elementary school and were good friends throughout high school,” begins Welik. “But it was really a ‘frenemies’ relationship, with 60 per cent hate and 40 per cent [love].”
This constant oscillation between love and playful hate is at the core of their musical project and highly contributes to the clips’ dynamism. As they kick each other off the Bishi or battle through ingenious verses, Welik and Chaim’s varied yet complementary personalities clash in an effusion of artistic production.
On one hand, Welik is the straightforward, nice, and amusingly dressed member of the duo.
“I try to be very descriptive,” says Welik. “What I want is to get the message across, as simply as possible in order to depict a girl or an emotion that I experienced.”
On the other hand, Chaim plays the channel’s mysterious and lyrical Don Juan.
“Lately, I have been trying to focus on finding melodies and flows,” explains Chaim. “When I started out, I was only about clever lines. The first one that comes to my head right now is a line that goes “I go harder than a day-old baguette.”
Looking at the future, the young artists have plenty new ideas regarding the evolution of “Mondays in the Bishi.”
“We are thinking, for next year, [about] creating a crowdfunding platform to finance a road trip across Canada [in] the Bishi,” says Chaim. “To have the monetary capacity to make the project evolve.”
More importantly, they just announced plans to release their first EP Mirage, which comes out this summer and should emphasize the musical side of the artists’ project while enlarging the scope of their audience. Mirage may usher in a bright future for Boots & Scoops, but nevertheless, the young men stress that fame will not change their style.
“We will make sure to keep our raw personalities shining through the EP,” Chaim said. “We are thinking of introducing some spoken transitions, but anyways our songs will reflect the style we have always had.”
I don’t doubt the duo’s humility. After chatting with them, it’s safe to assume that what they proclaimed in the second episode ever of “Mondays in the Bishi” still applies: “We still goin’ crazy over three likes and a comment.