Intimate Electro Pop from Toronto Newcomer. - Jess Benko: Worst Enemy
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posted 08 Mar 2021 by Krister Axel
A mixture of indie rock with hints of synthpop that captures the frustration of fighting with yourself, in your own head, over everything.

18 year-old Jess Benko wrote her first song about a year ago, but so much has happened since then. This Toronto native has tapped into a core of honest, eloquent song-craft that just gets better with every new track. After a well-received impromptu performance for Billie Eilish—the video of which now a viral sensation on TikTok—at a fan event in New York, Jess finally wrote and put out her first song in April 2019.

"Worst Enemy" is a mixture of indie rock with hints of synthpop that captures the frustration of fighting with yourself, in your own head, over everything. Jess wanted to acknowledge that self-sabotage is part of being human, and thus make a statement about the importance of accepting every part of ourselves: both the good and the bad. Jess’ altruistic approach to music is inspired by her personal life, and fuels her ambition to to help as many people as possible through whatever they are struggling with. She built her own brand of intimate, electronic pop from the early influence of artists like SYML, Jeremy Zucker, and Gracie Abrams.

Now with 15+ million streams on her album and counting, Jess works on music full-time and hopes her songs can impact others in a way that is self-empowering. She credits music with saving her life, in a way, and wants to pay that forward in any way possible. "Worst Enemy" provides a deep moment of self-examination, as Benko wonders out loud if fear of loneliness and failure is as widespread as we imagine it to be in our darkest moments.

Music has gotten me through some very dark times and once I started writing. I found my reason to stay, my purpose. — Jess Benko

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About the Author

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Krister Bjornson Axel

Morristown, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.


Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist


Read my poetry here.