The Wizarding World of a Beef-Based Band

Dear readers, as you may or may not know, we have musicians among us! Lucky me, I had the opportunity to personally interview and discuss with two young artists; Derek Lee Dagenais and Landon Ra Dagenais, members of the music band Ti Boeuf. Both being dedicated students, you may have already seen them around at St. Lawrence! While discussing with the Dagenais brothers about their new single release “Vélo,” they also taught me so much about their world of music and content production– I am telling you, these guys are insane! As a matter of fact, Ti Boeuf is a perfect representation of the product of hard work, passion, and family combined together!


Ti Boeuf counts three members; Olivier Cabot, Derek and Landon Dagenais. During the interview, they told me about how all three of them were avid fans and dedicated players of baseball. Indeed, they would often see each other at baseball games. However, it was not until Olivier Cabot started dating the Dagenais’ older sister, Amy Dagenais, that they actually became friends—soon learning that they shared the common ground of music. Since their first jam, they have become inseparable. “It’s like having a third brother,” mentioned Derek, referring to Cabot, during the interview. Therefore, we thank Amy for being the central core of this gorgeous musical union! Then, when asked about their group name he also explained that: “The name is something childish and sort of ironic. It’s a reference that is very “rural” to a beef-based meal. After tossing it around humorously, it stuck, and an image was based upon it.”

Initially inspired to play by his father, Mario Dagenais, Derek started playing the electric guitar at the age of 12. Now 21 years old, he has played in over 30 concerts including: The CQSB Performing Arts Festival; Quebec High School’s Q-Factor, Music Extravaganza, and Coffee House; and over six concerts with CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence’s What the Heck Band. Derek is a business student here at St. Lawrence as well as an executive member of the What the Heck band, SLC Radio and a founding member of the St. Lawrence Audio-visual technicians. Photography and cinematography are also hobbies he shares a passion for.

In order to play with his older brother, Landon started playing bass at 14 years old. Now 18, he has participated in nearly 20 shows, such as many at Quebec High School and Performing Arts Festivals. As Quebec High School’s 2019 Valedictorian, Landon is currently studying pure sciences here at St. Lawrence. Mostly self taught, the youngest Dagenais is a huge fan of music theory; he plays guitar, ukulele, piano and sings as well. Following his brother’s steps, Landon is a member of the What the Heck band, SLC Radio and is a founding member of the St. Lawrence Audio-visual technicians. He also happens to be wearing very cool hats from time to time! 

Last but not least, 23 year-old Olivier Cabot started playing drums at the age of 5. He attended 10 years of drum lessons, complemented with songwriting and singing classes as well. Cabot has participated in over 50 shows, he won two awards in English back in high school (École Secondaire de Donnacona) and he worked as a bilingual information officer for the Government of Quebec for over two years.


As mentioned earlier, I interviewed the Dagenais brothers to discuss their new single “Vélo” that was released last week, on February 23rd, 2021. If you have not listened to the song, you can scroll down and click on the links below! The project “Ti Boeuf” started in February 2019 and, as it happens, the release of “Vélo” actually marks the two-year anniversary of the band. Congratulations! Sadly, I am no artist, therefore I had to be enlightened on how they actually came up with such a banger!

Raphaëlle Champagne: What inspired you guys to write “Vélo”?

Landon Dagenais: We started working on this project last spring because one thing we really wanted to do, since winter was ending, was go out and ride bikes. However, we had sold our old ones a while back, and the road in front of our house was notoriously dangerous, so the whole dream felt impractical. Which is actually a funny idea, because biking is a really simple thing and most of the lyrics of “Vélo” serve to exaggerate this feeling towards things we cannot do anymore.

Champagne: How would you describe the lyrics?

L. Dagenais: As is typical with what I write, the lyrics are overly dramatized and from the perspective of a kid or a teen growing up. The notion of a bike in both the lyrics and the music video bike might also be a metaphor for life since the song holds the concept of everything going faster and faster, as when you go downhill on a bike. In fact, the beat starts slow and it builds up and the kick start at the beginning of the song actually reminds of a human heartbeat! The hardest in the recording was dealing with the metronome that had to speed up to fit the song. It was complicated because most songs do not speed up; they usually maintain the same speed all along. “Vélo” starts off at 70 bpm and ends at 110 bpm. I guess we like to try different and new things!

Champagne: The bike seems to be an important element of your videoclip, can you explain the story around it?

Derek Dagenais: At first, we wanted to have one bike each, adult size, but then I thought the bike had to be small because it served so many purposes, such as demonstrating the fact that the song represents somebody growing up that is still attached to things from his childhood. Moreover, a kid’s bike is easier to transport! Then, the idea of only having a single bike came into the equation since it illustrated the concept of combining all three characters– being us –into one individual living the same experiences in different ways. That is why in the video there are many overlapping sequences of us doing the same thing but in a different time lapse.

When asked to discuss the use of a single vintage orange bike in their video clip, the younger Dagenais brother described how they got the idea from the movie “Call Me by Your Name”, in which the characters mostly travel by bike. He then explained how they thought the shots of the actors riding their bikes were beautiful and representative of the vibe they wanted to create with their song. 

Champagne: Am I wrong or the hardest thing to manage while filming your videoclip was actually to ride the bike that was way too small for you guys?

L. Dagenais: Cabot is by far the tallest and every time he would be getting on the bike, we knew it was going to be funny. As much as you cannot take the song seriously, the message carried through it is really significant, but we still have room for less serious parts, for example my hat. The comic relief to a more serious song. Doing things well and being professional does not mean you have to be serious! Taking yourself too seriously ruins the fun you have doing music.

After the serious talk about how professional they were, I tried to get to know the band a bit better, here is how it went.

Champagne: How would you describe the music you usually create?

D. Dagenais: As you can see in Anderson I the songs are all over the place because which kind of represents the fact that we do not fit in a specific genre, but Lan has a bunch of different ideas, there are no limits for him.

Champagne: What is your writing process like?

L. Dagenais: It is a shared process that really changes every time. It usually starts with us three jamming at the same time and then one of us comes up with something good and we just jump in, adding bits, and a song comes out of it. For example, two summers ago we all three-playing music for fun but Derek was playing this really heavy riff on the guitar and he just started doing this really low scream over it and Cabot and I really liked the guitar part so we just continued it on a bit and a song came out. I think that’s the funniest way to do it, we all just pitch in, then add punch to it and just clean everything up.

D. Dagenais: It’s all about contributing to the ideas together so when someone has something to add on well, he just does it and that is how we are able to get to a good song.

Champagne: If you had the opportunity to open a show for any artists, who would it be?

L. Dagenais: Kings of Leon, people usually tend to like Kings of Leon for their two most popular songs “Sex on Fire” or “Use Somebody”, but when you really pay attention to the lyrics and the music in their songs, they are actually brilliant.

Champagne: Who is the band leader?

L. Dagenais: we each take on responsibilities, we have assigned roles, but they are different things we do. For example, Derek is strong with the visual elements, in terms of social media and promotion, like that’s really his thing. For myself, there are things I like to do in terms of the production of music and putting everything together, so I am usually in charge of that. Then, Cabot is super good in French, we speak French as well, but he can write huge, really perfectly written texts in French so if we have to reach out to different people or organizations about our band, he usually takes care of it.

D. Dagenais: We have zoom meetings every weekend to make sure everybody will be able to meet the deadlines and respect the timeline of our organization schedule. You just have to do that for music and it’s creating the culture behind the music as well that is important, but it takes time and planning but it’s worth it!

Champagne: What is the favourite song you wrote?

L. Dagenais: Mine is one that we haven’t recorded yet, that’s the thing because sometimes you’ll write a song and when you are writing it, it’s perfect but by the time you get to recording it, you are already writing the next song in your head. It’s kind of hard to manage actually. I remember, a year ago when we were recording “Your House”, “Vélo”, which was not recorded yet, was my favourite song but now that we are done with “Vélo” my current favourite is the song we will be recording later on this year.

D. Dagenais: The best way to put it is that there is something magic and exciting about songs that we are not fully done with yet.

Champagne: What is a song that you enjoy playing?

L. Dagenais: Martha by Tom Waits, it is a piano song, and it sounds as if you were in a movie, it’s really old, and I tried to figure out how to play the piano cords on the guitar, and of course and guitar works differently so it was really fun trying to do it and the way he times his voices is hard to manage as well so that one I really enjoy playing!

D. Dagenais: It used to annoy the crap out of me because a song I would always come to was Stolen Dance by Milky Chance, just because I liked the way it went. In high school I’d always be playing that song, but I managed to get away from it! Nowadays, it is often something by Elliott Smith, because the way he puts his emotions into his music really is amazing. Though it is more of a sequence of notes that I’ll do, and always repeat the same riff.

It was a pleasure working with Derek and Landon, I am eager to hear about the band’s upcoming projects, and I bet you are too, lovely readers! For those who do not know Ti Boeuf’s work, here is my personal top 3 favorite songs by them:

  • Anderson II
  • Karaoke Bar
  • Your House

A last word from the band: 

Putting ourselves out there and bringing our sonic and visual content to a growing audience is something we love to do! Ti Boeuf is on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Our social media is a space where we can let our creativity out and make anything we like. Sometimes it’s funny tidbits of practices, contests, music announcements and upcoming concerts. Make sure to follow us to stay tuned! All of our music is available on popular streaming platforms from Spotify and Apple music to Bandcamp and Soundcloud. 

Music Video:


Instagram: @ti.boeuf @landonradagenais @cabotoliver @_derekleedagenais

By Raphaëlle Champagne


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