Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Benedict Sinister about his origin in music, goals, signature style and so much more.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Benedict Sinister: I was looking for a job where I couldsleep in till noon, travel the world, and party every night. But I failed my airline pilot’s exam.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Sinister: I collect together music and lyric ideas and then piece them together like a jigsaw puzzle. In other words, for all you undergrads reading this, my praxis is an example of “counter-bricolage” – I repackage content from different cultures to try to make my product seem cool.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Sinister: Other songs, movies, literature. I am a big believer in the art of appropriation, but also in giving credit. I a quote and name more other artists than any artist in history. My current single “Going Away” references Gainsbourg, Verlaine, Jacques Brel, Paolo Nutini, Jeff Buckley, Paul Simon, Nic Roeg, Leonard Cohen, Jimmy Webb, Lana del Rey, The Velvet Underground, Lorca, and Hemingway.
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Sinister: Music is an art form that allows me to unleash my love of provocation, my absurdist sense of humour, my forbidden desires, my weird obsessions and my guilty confessions – without the risk that anyone of any importance will ever notice.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Sinister: Leftfield euro house lounge with an adult alternative edge – think Daft Punk meets Tom Waites.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Sinister: Live, I’ve been known to perform completely naked except for elaborate body paint based on Yayoi Kusama paintings and an ancient penis sheath I retrieved from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. In the studio I accessorise with gloves so I don’t get body paint on the mixing desk.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Sinister: “Going Away” is a break-up song for the hook-up era. Although the lyrics are very sad, the house lounge tip just keeps rolling along – reflecting the fact that, after so many relationships, these days people simply don’t feel the emotions they used to when they broke up in the past.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2021?
Sinister: It’s already been a huge year for me as I scored my first Top Ten hit with “Going Away” on the UK Club charts, which has been a lifelong goal.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Sinister: I’m confident I’m going to beat Connor McGregor in a VERZUZ face-off on the Sondheim songbook, though I hear he does do a hysterical blue version of “The Ladies Who Lunch.”
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Sinister: I’m working on a new reality show combining elements of Love Island with I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, taking buff and bodacious singles to Dallol, an Ethiopian ghost town where the temperature is 38 degrees all year round and the massive salt deposits have killed all the plants. Anyone wanting to be a contestant should hit me up on Insta and @benedictsinister.