Benee was an Auckland teenager when her song “Supalonely” became a TikTok sensation in 2019. One thing led to another and she now has a global following and an international publishing and recording deal. Her first album Hey U X was released at the end of last year.
I definitely use music to help me relax. I always have done. I go into my room and will binge-listen to an artist who makes me feel happy – or even sad songs if they are relatable at a time when I am feeling sad. The Japanese House is a good example. She is from the UK and I have been listening to a ton of her music. It’s freakishly relatable – all her lyrics just make so much sense.
I’ve also been listening to Heavy Chest. That is Andre Smith, an artist who lives in Wellington. His music is super-chilled and sad, but it makes me feel really good listening to it. And there’s a new girl I found called Hope Power. She is from London. She has got such interesting melodies and her voice is so smooth and velvety the way it weaves through the songs.
All these people are quite young. Hope is similar to me, around 22. Japanese House is 25. I’m lucky that I get exposed to a lot of new music. All my musician friends have their own kind of music they like to listen to, and I’m always Shazaming it or asking them what it is. [Shazam is an app that lets your smartphone listen to any music that is playing and will tell you what it is.]
I prefer a downbeat style to relax. Hope Tala’s music is melancholic, but definitely more upbeat than Heavy Chest, which is slower and dreamier. Hope Tala is funky. Last year I needed to make more of an effort to relax than others. It’s quite strange what has been happening with my career, because it was my biggest year so far.
If Covid hadn’t happened, I would have probably been going around radio stations and doing press stuff. I enjoyed not having to leave my room. The year before, I was complaining about not having enough time at home. Music helped with all the obstacles last year, but especially in the first New Zealand lockdown, when I found myself shutting down and sitting on the bed for hours and listening to music
My tastes have changed. I definitely didn’t listen to as much indie stuff when I was starting out. I was into R ’n’ B and more funky stuff. I don’t listen to as much jazz as I would like. I thoroughly enjoy it, especially when it’s live, so I would like to start listening to more of that. And more alternative electronic music. I found a guy called Vegyn recently who is really cool.
Benee’s favourite songs to relax to
- Good at Falling by The Japanese House
- Pre Heat by Heavy Chest
- Sensitive Soul by Hope Tala
Listen to our relaxing Spotify playlist here.