Benee herself is by no means bound to the concept of genre – or to any categorization or rules in this field. “I like eclectic, random vibes,” the 20-year-old singer from New Zealand tells us. “That’s my thing with everything. Fashion and art. It’s kind of messy.” She’s an anomaly in the pop sphere, really different from everyone else. Her authenticity is immediately apparent. “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do because it doesn’t make sense to me,” she explains. She doesn’t dress up to impress, and she’s not afraid of just being herself: an oddball, inexcusable kiwi, very modest and reserved. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to success, to be honest,” she says, “I’m in this constant, overwhelming state where everything is very surreal.”
“In my childhood,” the musician from Auckland says, “I felt a little strange, and I felt like I was on my own.” She played sports and tried the guitar and saxophone at school, but Benee’s music career only really took off when she was discovered by a producer on the Internet a few years ago. She had recorded a number of GarageBand covers, by people like Gnarls Barkley and Amy Winehouse, and released them “mainly for friends” on SoundCloud. Soon she found herself in a real studio and used the free time she had in her last year of school to explore a fascinating world of sounds and words and to become a little pop star.
Until her big breakthrough, Benee juggled the dishes in evening shifts as a dishwasher in a restaurant, while continuing to fiddle around with her songs. In mid-2018 Benee released her undoubtedly catchy hit “Soaked”, which immediately became a viral success. It was a relief, both for Benee herself and for her discoverer. The Australian influential radio station Triple J started to play it. “Oh my goodness, maybe I made the right decision,” Benee even thought before she finally became part of modern pop music.