BENEE is 2020’s breakout indie pop phenomenon, her music buzzing on the hippest playlists and a fervent audience growing around her groove-drenched sound and quirky lyrical take on the world.
June 2019 saw her drop FIRE ON MARZZ, a debut EP featuring hits Soaked, Glitter, Evil Spider and three more songs, all recorded at Golden Age studio in her hometown of Auckland with producer Josh Fountain of LEISURE.
A second EP, STELLA & STEVE, followed that saw BENEE introduce her first feature guests as Gus Dapperton jumped on the irrepressible bop Supalonely and Jack Berry on Drifting. It also included her Halloween treat Monsta and Triple J Australia chart topper Find An Island.
“I have what’s called my Benevision,” says the singer. “It’s the idea that all of my music, visuals and content contribute to a greater artwork. Right now, I have a blank canvas. I want to pick different mediums, smash them all together through music and physical art, and collaborate with as many different creatives as possible. I use the example of a Jackson Pollock painting.”
Citing genre-bending artists such as James Blake as points of inspiration, she conceptualizes diverse soundscapes and lyrical narratives by sourcing diverse material such as funk bass lines and Arabic scales.
“I like the flexibility to cross genres,” says Benee, “To have the creative space to mix it up and not be confined to one sound.”
Finding a way to maintain cool kid street appeal whilst presenting a seasoned sense of sophistication through the mature and velvet quality of her voice, Bene paves her own lane through the ‘Benevision.’
BENEE’s sold out shows from London and New York to all across Australia and NZ. She’s played Spilt Milk and Laneway festivals and toured the US with Conan Gray.
“Soaked” climbed Spotify’s Viral Charts streaming over 13 million times, charted on Australia’s Triple J radio Hot 100 and New Zealand’s Shazam Top 100, and was certified Gold in New Zealand & Australia. With endorsements like Zane Lowe and Apple’s Beats1 radio, Benee went from playing her first small club gig to her first arena show (opening for longtime role model Lily Allen) in a matter of months.
With her direction at the forefront, the young artist is dedicated to staying true to her herself through every aspect of the project. “With the media and societal expectations there is this kind of image that people want to see,” says Benee. “For me, I never want to be something that I’m not or something that I don’t want to be. I want the whole Benee project to be my artistic truth.”
Shining through every detail, Benee’s truth is unmistakable. Employing vulnerability as her strength, she’s unafraid to be outspoken and maintains a relentless pursuit for authenticity.
“I want to be a powerful, strong woman who people can look up to,” says Benee. “I want to be honest, and I want to be myself.”
Well beyond her teenage rumination, Benee foresees her future. And the future is bright.