Matt Lennox – who makes up Mon Frere alongside his brother Paul – said: “British Airways have just asked us if they can play three of our songs on their inflight entertainment systems on all of their transatlantic flights in April and May.”
Matt, who lives in Littlehampton, sees it as a major coup. Already publishers have started to take an interest in their music: “My bother Paul is a drummer by background and lives in Brighton. He has played with lots of different bands over the years, and I am the lyricist. We started working together because I have always had a passion for dance music as a DJ, and as well as being a drummer, my brother was also looking at producing. So in about 2015 we put our heads together to see what we could so. We came up with the idea of calling ourselves Mon Frere obviously because we are brothers and that’s how we used to sign ourselves off on emails.”
The name also acknowledges an older brother who tragically died at the age of 13 back in 1980 on Matt’s fifth birthday: “The name Mon Frere resonates with us in that sense as well. He is in our minds every day.
“We are very much a DIY band. We started to produce our own music and set up our own studio. We have got a studio just outside Brighton in a place called Rottingdean. We have set ourselves up as our own company and our own record label.
“Paul is the producer and composer and drummer, and I write the lyrics for the songs and play electronic drums when we play live.
“One of the things we were very keen on as a band was to use young talented vocalists form the local area. My brother was at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and knew a lot of brilliant singers. Every time we get a song ready to go, we think about contacts and look people up on YouTube and Facebook. It has been really good to provide a platform for young singers.”
Mon Frere also became involved with the BBC Introducing initiative – where you can upload songs with a view to them being played on the radio. They uploaded the first three songs from their next album – and were rewarded with airplay.
“We also take care of the marketing ourselves, and we are constantly in contact with people about possibilities. I randomly contacted British Airways to see if they were interested. I have a day job as a sales manager for a big healthcare company, and I do a lot of travelling. On lots of flights I am listening to music, and I just wondered if we could get a bit of exposure that way. Because British Airways value the BBC Introducing series, that sparked an interest, and they started asking us questions and they said ‘Why don’t you do an exclusive EP for us that we will play on our transatlantic flights for a couple of months?’ So we took the first three songs of our next album, and that’s what they will be playing during April and May.”
Other stories by Phil: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2