Benee, meeny, miney, moe – In Conversation with Benee
Benee is a pandemic defining pop artist whose certified bop ‘Supalonely‘ was heard everywhere from TikTok to radio stations.
Her charming pop tunes heard in EPs such as FIRE ON MARZZ and STELLA & STEVE and, most recently Lychee, are memorable and easy to sing along to.
Benee and I spoke mid-April, during her off-time from her latest world tour. Although it might sound like time for some free time and rest, the artist had sessions in an LA studio for a few weeks before resuming the gruelling life of tour.
Me: How‘s off-tour life treating you?
Benee: I‘m pretty happy to be in a different country for sure, and and just being in the States and being around everyone in the industry. I think it is really good right now! All our spirits are pretty high at the moment.
Do you look forward to coming to Europe? Is it your first time touring in Europe or have you been there before?
I’ve been there before on tour. Maybe one or two times on tour, but I never had a headline tour of this size; so this will be our biggest one so far.
Have you performed in the UK before?
Yeah we have, I mean I love the UK and Europe. I think they’re both just like such cool spots to go out and connect to the fans and explore as well – so, I’m looking forward to that part of the tour, definitely.
Do you have any key moments? Something memorable that happened?
Damn, I think just like going on big walks with my band. Exploring the streets of Amsterdam. Oh, we went on a cycling tour when we were in Berlin. It was, it was so cool!
Do you have any free time [on tour]?
Uhm, I have a feeling that I don’t have a lot of free time. Because we’re gonna be on a bus for the first time, which would be quite an experience I’m sure. But yeah, I don’t know how much free time.
Do you get recognised when you walk around? Is it different from place to place?
Yeah, I reckon it’s definitely different from place to place – like in New Zealand, obviously, it’s really small – so you get recognised all the time. In Australia and in the States, occasionally, but I haven’t been there in so long, so we’ll have to see.
Do you remember specific shows or does it blend it to a nice collage of memories?
I remember bits of different shows. I definitely remember my show in Amsterdam. I remember what the venue was like and you know, there’s something that stands out from a show; the last London gig we did was really cute. But then I also have memories of the sound person at one of my London gigs being really mean. It’s funny to look back on a tour and only remember some parts and then forget some.
Talking about your recently released EP ‘Lychee’, how was the experience of performing the newly written songs?
It’s pretty exciting to see how the crowd reacts to it and [performing live] always brings a new kind of vibe to the songs, it’s nice to see the ones the audience connects the most to. And I also have like one song in the set that isn’t out yet – so, it’s also really exciting, and I’d say encouraging, to see how people take it.
What’s your favourite song to perform? A new one and a favourite of all time?
Oh, it’s a good question. It’s always pretty fun to perform ‘Glitter’ or ‘Supalonely’ because those are the ones that people will like the most but I have this song called ‘Monday’, which isn’t out yet which I like. It’s been really, really fun to perform that one as well. We’ve also just added ‘Winter‘ (featuring Mallrat) to our set, which is another song of mine from my album [Hey u x]. I mean, it’s always just fun to add new things to the set and play them, ’cause you get so used to playing the same songs so it’s nice to mix it up.
Do you get bored of questions about your hits, such as ‘Supalonely’?
It’s nice that people can ask your question in a different way, but it’s always funny when someone asks the exact same question. I’m like, ‘Girl, you could look that up’…
Do you have a favourite interview or a dream interview that you would like to do?
Oh, I love Nardwuar. You know it’s a different kind of way of interviewing. I think it is really exciting, so hopefully one day.
What’s the most memorable interview you’ve done?
I did a Mukbang interview once, which was kind of fun. I think it was a very exciting one ‘cause you could eat at the same time.
How do you feel about coming to Manchester?
I’ve already been once. It’s still pretty light and new to me, but the one time that I was there we had a really good time in Manchester. We went to a nice cute little café and I’m keen to explore it more. The people were really friendly and had cute accents. Love love the accents! But yeah, I think I love the UK. And people in the UK have a similar sense of humour to New Zealanders. A kind of dry sense of humour, which is quite funny. I’m very excited to reconnect with everyone there.
What’s it like being a singer from New Zealand?
New Zealand is quite small, so there’s this very weird thing. Like when you start out where you’re kind of like, OK, it doesn’t really seem very realistic to pursue something like music ’cause there’s so many people in the world. I think quite a few artists from here like Kimbra and Lorde and stuff have brought more attention to New Zealand, so I think they’ve paved the way which has been really beneficial for other artists coming out of New Zealand and Australia. The industry is all really supportive when you’re kind of starting out, which is nice, and it has a family kind of feel to it. I think also just like being from such a small place that is so far away, I think it just makes you so hungry to just keep going with the grind because you want to be out here and live in this big world – not go back home and get into a routine there.
What artists from New Zealand would you like to give a shoutout to?
There’s this very cool artist called Muroki and in general I could make a whole playlist of artists from NZ I love.
I know that your EP came out recently… but is there something the fans could look forward to in the new future?
I think I want to do another EP, that’s the plan at the moment – because I like releasing in that way, so I can definitely look forward to more music this year.
Really looking forward to it and your Manchester show! Thank you very much for your time.
Benee is playing at the O2 Ritz on 16th May – tickets can be bought here!