Gigs Of The Week
With breakthrough single Soaked turning heads across the globe, New Zealand’s BENEE is ready to build on the success of the atypically sounding debut EP, FIRE ON MARZZ.
BENEE is the RnB-infused pop project by New Zealand based Stella Bennett.
Expressing a love for the stripped back melodies of James Blake and Bon Iver, BENEE pairs her contemporaries’ experimentation with pop-hooks, from the smoothness of single Soaked to the sun-kissed buoyancy of Glitter and the sinister themes of Evil Spider.
Deconstructing pop tropes, BENEE has crafted a style all her own, pairing retrospective RnB sounds (see the deep synths of Wishful Thinking) with an unquestionably modern sound.
FIRE ON MARZZ, her six-track EP, travels this broad spectrum yet finds consistency in her wistful vocals. Want Me Back harks back to the RnB ballad heyday without losing an ounce of its pop sensibilities, all building on the impressive foundations laid by breakthrough Soaked.
BENEE, real name Stella Bennett, began to take music seriously as she reached the end of her high school career, eventually dropping out of university after just two weeks to focus on her creativity. Uploading a number of tracks to SoundCloud, it was the reaction to Soaked that saw her soar. The track – her second recorded with producer Josh Fountain and released in the summer of 2018 – climbed to No.14 on the official New Zealand singles chart, and found itself high on radio station triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2018 list.
The song’s success has allowed BENEE to travel the globe, playing a handful of showcases and headline shows across the northern hemisphere, as well as seeing a substantial growth in the size of the venues she has been playing back home.
Pairing art and music, BENEE looks to challenge the confines of expectation. From bringing together various musical styles to create her own deconstructed pop sound to injecting creativity across all that she does, BENEE approaches her artistry with a 360 degree outlook.
Artist Ricardo Cavolo created the vibrantly disorientating cover art for FIRE ON MARZZ, representative of the untraditional approach to her art. Far removed from the imagery that would normally accompany a pop record, it’s indicative of BENEE’s comparatively radical approach – one that is mirrored in her fusion of sounds.
More essential tracks
Want Me Back
Where can I see BENEE live?
BENEE is playing a sold out headline show at London’s Camden Assembly on Tuesday 15 October 2019. She’ll also be appearing at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester on 12 October 2019 with tickets available now.
For any future BENEE live dates head to TicketWeb.uk.