Infusing the best in jazz composition and improvisation with Hip-Hop poetry and soulful grooves, The Beast is North Carolina's own independent revolution. Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly conscious, The Beast creates music to engage/enrage one's mentality and impassion all bodies to get up and move. The Independent Weekly calls The Beast “one of the Triangle’s new bright lights…[because it] subverts a half-dozen stereotypes.” One could think they were listening to Bob Marley, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, or Public Enemy at any point during a Beast performance.
Hailing from the city of Durham, The Beast started as a chance encounter between emcee Pierce Freelon and his old high school friend, drummer Stephen Coffman. In holding a jam session with bassist Pete Kimosh and pianist Eric Hirsh, they discovered a powerful musical connection and spontaneous creation that resulted in songs yet unaltered from their improvised form.
Having been together for over a year, The Beast has already made an impact on the local scene with their high-energy live show, an appearance on NPR, and as an opening act for one of their inspirations, The Foreign Exchange. The Beast’s debut EP, “Belly” (released in September ’08), features three original, genre-bending songs and some of North Carolina’s premier hip hop, jazz, and soul artists, including YahZarah, Nnenna Freelon, Mark Wells, and Scott Sawyer.
The Beast’s mission statement also includes education and cultural outreach, as the group devotes time and energy to developing workshops on creativity, improvisation, and the history of African-American music. Thus far, they have given clinics to children and college students from Atlanta to Washington DC.
The Beast is currently in the studio working on their first full-length album and looks forward to a year of connecting with new people and creating revolutionary music.