Hi, I’m Jordy Benattar, a singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Over the past few years, I’ve been hearing from my friends about disliking their jobs, lacking a sense of meaning and wanting more. My latest single “Cheers” reflects on this generational feeling of purposelessness.
I’ve always been inspired to write about shared experiences. “Cheers” opines on the experience of being a millennial.
The artwork features me in a trance while emptying a cup of coffee, not realizing I missed the sink. The coffee pour and splash is a direct ode to the song’s leading lyric, “Cheers with a glass half empty”.
“Cheers” opens with distant, layered vocals, chanting: “Big kids with big dreams; shooting stars they fall; nothing’s as it seems; nothing’s changed at all”. I wanted an acapella intro to pull the listener in and preview what “Cheers” is all about. This same phrase repeats at the end of the song, ultimately bringing us right back to the start, embodying the song’s motif of routine.
The first verse walks listeners through a day in the life of a twenty-something-year-old: waking up at 7AM; grabbing a coffee to-go; rushing to the subway; and reciting to themselves positive affirmations in the hopes of having a good day.
Yesterday and tomorrow look the same – a sometimes frustrating reality for a generation known for short attention spans and dreaming big. My goal here was to crystalize the motions and the mundanity that so many young adults experience day by day, year by year.
The chorus introduces the concept of “no legacy”: our fear that we are running out of time to realize our potential before it’s too late. It sounds depressing – I know – but my hope is that people feel less alone by hearing lyrics that might resonate with them.
The second verse invites listeners into the thoughts and actions that aren’t as obvious or visible to others: cold-calling in pursuit of a new professional opportunity; a lack of fulfillment with how things currently are; and questioning whether the status quo is as good as it gets.
The bridge is the release of built-up emotion, rich with witty (and snarky) lyrics and electric guitar to reinforce the stressful message of the song. Post-bridge is the climax: multiple hooks that appear at different times throughout the song collide to create an all-consuming listening experience.
Personally, the end if my favourite part of “Cheers”. Those last 30 seconds feel like an entrancing escape to me. With so much to latch onto sonically, it’s a musical candy store.
The blending of genres is what I think makes “Cheers” different than other songs I’ve released. I originally imagined “Cheers” as a purely acoustic guitar track, similar to how verse one sounds. After I wrote the bridge, I felt that the song needed instrumentals that complimented the somber, modern day lyrics. That gut feeling made me go down the path of pop.
My producer Jesse Maxwell and I began experimenting with what it could sound like as an indie-pop song. The talented Andrés Alzate played acoustic guitar and tried out some electric guitar to give the track more punch. Once we heard the electricity and energy that the electric guitar lent to the song, more ideas brewed and there was no going back to acoustic-only.
Jesse was key to making “Cheers” what it is. A brilliant artist and gifted producer, Jesse knows how to bring musical visions to life. I wanted “Cheers” to take people on a journey: beginning with a chill, mellow mood through the acoustic guitar, gradually climaxing into a pop-rock, electrified vibe that carries through the song’s angsty and uniting spirit.
In the bridge, I think I have 20+ vocal tracks, combining to make it feel like a chanting group. What I think makes “Cheers” special is how it spotlights a sad topic – the fear of running out of time to live a meaningful life – while creating a fun listening experience through upbeat, catchy instrumentals.
In terms of what’s next, I mainly write for other artists and am really passionate about those projects. I still always make time to make music for myself and am excited to release something special later this year. I’m inspired by growing pains and personal experiences (with lyrics oftentimes taken directly from my journal), or in the case of “Cheers,” what I see around me.
I began songwriting at nine years old. I grew up as an actress in film and television and always sang for fun. Shortly after wrapping up a film, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Instinctually, writing songs became a way for me to reflect on the life change and express myself. Now, songwriting for both other artists and for my own portfolio is my go-to outlet, sanctuary and major source of fulfillment all in one.
You can catch the lyric video for “Cheers” below. Cheers! 🙂
Words by Jordy Benattar // Follow her on Instagram + Facebook