Premiere: Benedict Sinister drops ‘Only Sixteen’


French/Australian musician, producer, poet and video creator Benedict Sinister returned with a new single on the 29th October with Only Sixteen‘. This sees the anonymous dance-floor darling unleash a new direction in his follow up to his club hits ‘EDM Mockney‘ (No. 23 on the UK Club Charts) and ‘Going Away‘ (peaked at No.8). Sinister spent 20 years working as an itinerant musician, performing all over the world, from DJ’ing at beach bars in Senegal, to playing covers of The Smiths in Mexico and Leonard Cohen covers in Japan. He started to attract attention after he moved to Brooklyn, in 2018, where he immersed himself in the music of other artists, leading him to start creating his own unique musical genre he calls “Adaptations.”


‘Only Sixteen’ is a nostalgic love song remembering a teenage breakup, which Benedict describes as “Emo rap meets Adele.” The track is an English-language adaptation of the Italian trap song “Autostima” by the underground teen Napolitan-Roman duo Psicologi, a song that went viral and featured on the soundtrack of the hit Netflix show, “Summertime.” Sinister translated the lyrics and added a new final verse, which includes his trademark reference to other artists, in this case Cat Stevens. It’s slow, sometimes moody, and at all times witty, as Sinister‘s quaky voice echoes out with raw emotion.


The enigmatic music video was shot in Toronto, Canada and stars the extraordinary model and influencer ‘No Gender’ Jude Karda. Sinister came across Karda on social media and fell in love with their combination of beauty, vulnerability and defiance. Benedict thought it would be interesting in a song about a teenager who “wants to be a woman” to feature talent that was once biologically a woman but took another path. The video showcases Jude in many personae, going through some unglamorous parts of teenage life, like catching public transport, depression, and messed up family situations, as well as exciting teen experiences, like cosplay, illicit sex, and roof topping.


Speaking on the song itself, Benedict Sinister had this to say: “It’s an adaptation of an Italian song, and the original title would translate as “Self Esteem.” I decided to change it, not to avoid confusion with the British artist of that name, but to create confusion with the 1975 Dr. Hook hit “Only Sixteen,” written by Sam Cooke. I chose the same title to mess with Spotify’s and YouTube’s algorithms, and aid discovery from the massive army of Dr. Hook fans.”




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