French /Australian music artist, producer, poet and video creator Benedict Sinister releases a new single ‘Spitting Rhymes From Debbie Harry’, his homage to the Blondie icon, via the Music For Sapiosexuals label.
“Spitting Rhymes” is a term for rapping, and Debbie Harry’s 1980 science fiction themed homage to the New York Hip Hop scene, “Rapture” was one of the earliest rap hits. Sinister’s single quotes rhyming couplets from that alongside dozens of other Blondie and Harry solo hits, including “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me,” “French Kissing in the USA,” “Dreaming” and “Sunday Girl”.
He says: “Debbie Harry is an iconic songwriter. She combines sexiness and a jaded take on romance with wit and wordplay in lines like “I will give you my finest hour / the one I spent watching you shower” and “he’s on the level when he’s inclined.” Yet below that fun, cheeky pop persona, there has always been a real woman with mental health and substance issues, about which she has been very forthright.”
“Spitting Rhymes from Debbie Harry” is also the sequel to Sinister’s first single “16 Lines from Bryan Ferry”, which used lines from 16 songs by another septuagenarian art rock fixture, Bryan Ferry, arranged into rhyming verses. Los Angeles based DJs Miss Beltran and Christian B released lounge and club remixes – the latter making No 5 Breakout on the Billboard Dance Club chart last year.
Benedict Sinister wears metallic masks that conceal his face, as he prefers his own identity to be secondary to the other artists that he pays homage to in his work. “I seek invisibility in order to make my idols more visible,” he says.“I’m not interested in taking the limelight for myself. I’m a modest vessel channeling the genius of Debbie Harry.”
Sinister spent 20 years working as an itinerant musician and performed all over the world, from DJing at beach bars in Senegal to playing covers of The Smiths in Mexico and of Leonard Cohen in Japan. He started to attract attention after he moved to US and to hipster Brooklyn in 2018. The creative hub saw his immersion in the music of other artists lead him to start creating his own unique musical genre he terms “Platform,” “Meta,” “Adaptations,” “Old School Post-Modernism” and “Inappropriation.”
His second single, “Your Parents,” an electropop track inspired by a French cabaret song by Vincent Delerm, came accompanied with a hilarious animated video he also created, packed with many witty references (from Trump to Spiderman and climate change to Last Tango in Paris), that it reached over half a million YouTube views in two months. The last single ‘I’ve Come To Tell You I’m Going Away’, a translation of the 1973 track by French musical legend Serge Gainsbourg written whilst he was recovering from his first heart attack, is Benedict’s homage to the great break-up songs.