“I feel simply giving folks stuff to observe and hearken to proper now’s one thing that lots of people sort of want, when you can really feel me” (Picture by way of Imogen Wilson).

Editor’s Notice: This text is a full transcript of the radio interview, which has been flippantly edited for format and consistency. Because of WNYU-FM and Bridgette Kontner for the collaboration!

These previous few months have been large for up and coming New Zealand various singer songwriter BENEE, along with her monitor “Supalonely,” particularly, blowing up on TikTok. What’s even weirder is that she’s spent the final a number of weeks of it quarantining along with her household of their dwelling in Auckland. Now that they’re starting to reopen, she’s been again within the studio engaged on an upcoming album. She chats about the whole lot from the stripped down model of “Supalonely” she simply launched, to her new YouTube sequence “BENEEfied,” to how she’s been engaged on new music popping out of quarantine.

Bridgette Kontner: Hey everybody! That is Bridgette and also you’re listening to the Sound Between right here on WNYU! I’ve such a deal with immediately: BENEE is becoming a member of me all the best way from New Zealand! Thanks a lot for stopping by!

BENEE: In fact, good day!


BK: So what’s been new with you? What’s occurring? You’re with your loved ones in New Zealand, proper?

B: I’m. I’m in Auckland, New Zealand. We’ve really simply come out of lockdown, so we’re on our stage two proper now, which is loopy. Stage one is like, sort of regular life, which is loopy. So we’re nearly again to regular residing which is sweet. I can return into the studio and stuff, which is what I’ve been doing, and it feels good! It feels good with the ability to see folks.

BK: Yeah!

B: I really feel like I had sufficient of the lockdown scenario.

BK: Oh my gosh, I feel all of us did. So what’s it appear like — stage two — are you continue to capable of go locations loads or not as a lot?

B: It’s like — we’ve nonetheless acquired to be sort of cautious they usually’re sort of encouraging social distancing nonetheless. However, yeah, we’re allowed to do 10-people gatherings, which is thrilling. , you’ll be able to go to your workspace and the whole lot. Yeah, it’s bizarre as a result of it’s nonetheless like– we’re nonetheless sort of just a little bit, you already know, we don’t wish to stuff issues up. So I feel it’s– persons are being fairly accountable, which is nice. And I feel it’s what we want proper now; I’m glad that it’s getting just a little bit extra regular.

BK: Yeah, so can you stroll outdoors like regular.

B: Properly yeah, it was so– our lockdown was loopy. We weren’t even allowed to get takeaways or something. There was, like, no eating places or something, so it was solely important employees. And that didn’t embrace folks making meals, which is loopy. However I feel, I don’t know, the spirit now’s everybody’s sort of excited and I feel you’re seeing lots of people wanting loads happier to have the ability to return to work, as a result of clearly lots of people didn’t have work for a very long time, which is frightening. However I don’t know, we’ve additionally acquired Jacinda Ardern, who’s our Prime Minister, who’s been unbelievable and I feel that the entire authorities assist system now we have may be very a lot people-focused and now we have numerous issues in place to assist everybody who’s struggling proper now, which is sweet. 

BK: Yeah, do you discover– do you are feeling completely different strolling outdoors in any respect?

B: I do! It’s bizarre! It’s loopy as a result of it’s like, it doesn’t really feel actual what has occurred within the final — what, like — seven weeks.

BK: Mhm.

B: Everyone seems to be in the identical boat and everyone seems to be sort of like, what is occurring to the world proper now? However yeah, it’s attention-grabbing since you exit and also you discuss to folks in actual life and it’s like– I’ve sort of forgotten the way to socialize. (laughs)

BK: Yeah completely!

B: (laughs) it’s bizarre.

BK: Right here within the U.S. we’re nonetheless within the earlier stage so I’m nonetheless (laughs) I’m wanting ahead to that, I assume. 

B: Yeah. (laughs)

BK: So whilst you’ve been in quarantine you’ve been performing some enjoyable stuff.

B: Uh-huh.

BK: Such as you simply launched the stripped again model of “Supalonely”–

B: Mhm.

BK: which is superior! What was the inspiration behind that? How did that come about?

B: Yeah! I imply, that complete factor with “Supalonely” is I wrote it after a breakup once I was actually unhappy and lonely. (laughs) However once I went into the session I used to be like, I wish to flip it and I wish to make an upbeat completely happy music that makes me really feel good on this session so I don’t have to consider being unhappy. However I don’t know, I’ve been listening again to it, you already know, a pair months in the past and I used to be like, I really feel like I wish to make the true facet to what I used to be really feeling. And I feel that the lyrics converse fairly actually about how I used to be feeling and I feel that the manufacturing is certainly what, you already know, masks it and makes it upbeat and enjoyable and relatable and the whole lot. However yeah, I needed to strip it again and I acquired my guitar participant Tia, who’s in my band– I acquired her to put down some guitar, and I went and I labored with my producer Josh and I used to be sort of similar to, let’s simply make it tremendous unhappy. Like, I wish to make it– (laughs) I wish to give it a extremely unhappy facet. And I feel, yeah, I prefer it now how they’re like polar opposites however they’re written about the very same factor and I used to be feeling the very same means. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s good to sort of present two sides.

BK: Yeah!

B: what I imply?

BK: I really feel like that sort of a factor along with your music– like generally the lyrics are fairly unhappy,

B: Yeah.

BK: however then, in the best way you make it, it’s so completely happy which I feel is so cool,

B: Yeah.

BK: as a result of it’s undoubtedly two-dimensional. Like even a music like “Blu”,

B: Mhm.

BK: I nonetheless really feel like there’s sort of some upbeat feeling in it.

B: (laughs) yeah.

BK: Prefer it’s very clearly a tragic music nevertheless it’s not a dragging type of unhappy music, which I feel is cool.

B: Yeah.

BK: That’s thrilling! So talking of “Supalonely,” that’s the music that has actually, actually blown up. Did you assume that this was going to be the music?

B: No, I really didn’t! I’m really — actually — I’m completely happy that it’s this one as a result of this was the one the place I used to be being tremendous experimental with the whole lot, you already know? Like “put a ton of auto-tune on my voice on this I wanna sound like a rapper!” (laughs) like “do that”. I had numerous enjoyable making this music; it’s a music that doesn’t sound like my different music. It was a music– I don’t know — it’s sort of a recent sound for me. And I like that it’s not all the time the, sort of, basic ones that folks love, which is sweet and it’s attention-grabbing. I don’t know, I didn’t in any respect– I didn’t even know, I didn’t even assume anybody would love the music as a result of normally it’s those that I really am proud of and I actually, actually like that nobody likes (laughs) I really feel like that’s been the case with most of my music,

BK: (laughs)


B: However yeah, no, I’m glad it was this one as a result of it is a bizarre one out of the bunch, for certain.

BK: Did you are feeling that while you had been making it? Like, what was the sensation of constructing it? Because you’re saying it’s sort of completely different for you.

B: Yeah, I imply. It was the primary session I did once I went to L.A. on this journey to make music, and yeah, I had gone by way of the breakup– broke up with my boyfriend 4 days earlier than I left, so I used to be like–

BK: (laughs)

B: Sort of similar to, “the world hates me, what’s occurring with my life, I’m so unhappy” and (laughs) I hated feeling sorry for myself on the time. However I sort of simply gave up, and I used to be like “you already know what, stuff it! Like, I’m frickin unhappy proper now however I’m going to make a music about it and I’m going to have enjoyable. Cease feeling unhappy and depressing and, frickin, all of that stuff.” So, I don’t know, I really feel prefer it was sort of simply that “stuff it” angle that made me — I don’t know — I simply acquired in there and didn’t actually care about something and I used to be sort of similar to “I’m going to make a music that makes me really feel good.” And I feel, even once I did the ad-libs within the music, just like the screaming and the, you already know, “I’m a lonely b*tch” it was sort of like “why not?” what I imply? Like I didn’t actually have something to lose (laughs) once I was within the studio. Like I didn’t actually really feel like something was going my means so I used to be similar to, “you already know what? Stuff it. I’m simply going to have enjoyable doing this.” And I really feel like that’s generally when the most effective stuff can come out while you’re not, sort of, caring an excessive amount of.

BK: Yeah, I really like that! So what sort of stuff normally conjures up you while you write? Is it these large emotional moments or, sort of, little issues?

B: I feel extra not too long ago it’s been the entire relationship sort of stuff. However in numerous my earlier work it was — I don’t know. I’ve written about fears of mine, really that’s extra not too long ago, as properly. Yeah I’ve written about fears and relationships. Relationships, you get a lot out of them.

BK: Mhm.

B: And I really feel like they’ve been very useful for my songwriting not too long ago.

BK: Yeah!

B: However yeah, desires. I wrote a music of mine known as “Afterlife”, which I wrote about this nightmare I had. I don’t know, I write about conversations I’ve had with somebody. It may be something and I feel that that’s the loopy factor about music; you’ll be able to actually write about something and it’s bizarre how somebody can relate to one thing, like folks have associated to my dream music — the music about my dream — persons are like “oh my gosh, I really feel that” and I’m like “what, how?”

BK: Like “you had that dream too?” (laughs)

B: But it surely’s cool, prefer it’s sick! It’s loopy however bizarre.

BK: Yeah completely!

B: I don’t perceive it, nevertheless it’s enjoyable.

BK: However that’s music! Yeah, everybody can relate.

B: Precisely.

BK: So that you had been saying you write your individual music.

B: Mhm.

BK: What’s it like for you writing by your self; whereas, now, possibly working with different folks— how’s that completely different?

B: Yeah I imply I don’t know I’m somebody who likes write my very own lyrics and I feel that one thing that I’m gonna stick by as a result of I don’t like different folks writing my lyrics (laughs) I don’t know, I imply, I’ve all the time labored with this man known as Josh Fountain and we’ve made like all my music collectively and he’s like a wizard at manufacturing. And I’ve additionally began to work with this man known as Jason Suskov who I really made a bunch of FIRE ON MARZZ — the songs on FIRE ON MARZZ — with him. And he sort of taught me numerous ways in which I can write a music and he helped me loads with the craft and the whole lot of songwriting. However I don’t know, I really feel just like the folks that — I imply I’ve solely actually labored with them, to this point — however I really feel like they sort of perceive precisely what I love to do. Which is: I like to take a seat there and I like to jot down my lyrics in my little bubble and we are able to bounce concepts round, however I prefer it to come back from me as a result of I feel that, I don’t know, that’s simply my means of constructing music and I feel that if it’s trustworthy and if it comes from you, I feel that’s sort of what’s particular about it. But additionally once I went away to LA to make music, I used to be working with numerous completely different folks.

BK: Mhm.

B: And I feel that that was sort of what it was set in place to do, was to sort of put me into the studio with somebody I didn’t know and to see how I’d work with them and I feel that I imply my subsequent music that’s popping out — only a little bit of promo (laughs) — at first of subsequent month, I labored with a producer whom I had by no means labored with earlier than and it really labored rather well. However I had periods the place I used to be working with a special producer and there was a author put within the room they usually tried to jot down my music for me and I used to be like “no!” (laughs) like I don’t know, it’s attention-grabbing as a result of I discovered loads about how different artists may work, which is that some folks like folks to take a seat in there and write their music for them, you already know?

BK: Yeah.


B: And lots of people’s jobs are to only write songs for artists and I feel that’s superior, nevertheless it’s clearly not how I work. And I feel that it’s actually attention-grabbing how completely different completely different musicians and artists can work and I sort of, yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t actually understand that that’s what it was sort of a bout and like nevertheless it was I discovered loads on that journey and now I do know very clearly how I wish to work and what I’m going to work like sooner or later, I feel. However I don’t know even going away and dealing with these sort of folks it has made me understand like I’d really be eager to jot down songs for different folks, too, you already know what I imply?

BK: Yeah!

B: So I really feel like simply sort of experimenting with stuff simply sort of makes you understand what you wish to do and stuff. You get stuff out of it, however you sort of be taught extra about what you wish to do and stuff which is attention-grabbing.

BK: Yeah completely. Properly, folks wish to hear your voice and your lyrics in order that is sensible that you simply’d wish to preserve it genuine to you.

B: Sure.

BK: Properly, talking of experimenting and issues (laughs)

B: (laughs)

BK: You’ve been doing a extremely, actually enjoyable sequence on YouTube known as BENEEfied,

B: Uh-huh.

BK: The place you sort of simply do numerous completely different actions along with your songs and talk about the meanings— that’s superior, I really like that concept! How did that come about?

B: We really filmed that some time in the past. We filmed that after I completed the Conan Grey tour that I supported, which was the tip of final 12 months. And it was the day I used to be leaving that evening, so I used to be actually, actually drained (laughs) however I used to be filming them. We filmed all of it in in the future— the entire episodes. I don’t know, my guys from Republic organized it. My buddy Michael deliberate all of it and stuff and I used to be like “shoot yeah, okay, this sounds sort of enjoyable.” They simply had all of those actions for me to do and I used to be like— I want I wasn’t drained, as a result of I really feel like I’d’ve put in additional effort (laughs) nevertheless it was actually enjoyable! And it was one thing I haven’t executed earlier than. I don’t know, I really feel like I wish to do extra YouTube stuff as a result of I’ve been a critical YouTube watcher since I used to be a child, I swear.

BK: Completely, yeah!

B: Yeah.


BK: I imply, when you ever wish to take a break from music (laughs) YouTube could be a great subsequent step! (laughs)

B: Dude (laughs) sure.

BK: So we’re wanting ahead to extra episodes popping out of that, proper?

B: Sure.

BK: In order that’s on YouTube and that’s tremendous thrilling.

B: Uh-huh!

BK: What do you assume your favourite one was to make?

B: Ooh.

BK: (Laughs)

B: There’s one which hasn’t come out but.

BK: Ooh that’s good!

B: I can’t spoil it! I feel it’s going to be the subsequent one which comes out.

BK: Thrilling!

B: However, yeah!

BK: Are you able to say what music it’s about? Or possibly one thing about it?

B: Oh my God, what music is it about? (laughs) I’ve simply forgotten what music it’s about.

BK: (laughs)

B: I feel it’s “Evil Spider”— no it’s not “Evil Spider”. That’s so unhealthy that I don’t know what the music is! (laughs) I’m solely fascinated about the exercise that I did in it.

BK: (laughs) That’s the enjoyable half although!

B: And you already know what? You’ll discover out! And so will I, it appears! (laughs)

BK: We’ll uncover it with you (laughs) we’ll uncover it with you!

B: (laughs) dude.

BK: Now everybody’s going to observe!

B: I do know, I’m excited!

BK: That’s so humorous.

B: Excited to seek out out!

BK: So that you first launched “Robust Man” again in 2017. So that you had been 17 then?

B: Sure.

BK: How do you assume your fashion, your writing, and stuff has modified since then? As a result of, that’s a great period of time.

B: Yeah, true. I imply, I feel “Robust Man” for me was the primary music that I made that I favored (laughs) I feel I had made numerous songs the place I used to be sort of like “this isn’t the sound that I’m desirous to make”. However I don’t know, I used to be listening to much more R&B than I hearken to now. I nonetheless love R&B and all of that sort of stuff. However I feel, you already know, I used to be listening to — I really like The Web and Steve Lacy— he’s extra indie — numerous that sort of stuff once I made “Robust Man”, and even lure, trappy sort of stuff, and I feel that you may hear that extra so within the manufacturing. And I feel, to check that to now, I feel with the whole lot new that I make, I like to enter it and be extra experimental now. I used to be possibly extra afraid to try this earlier on, however yeah. I feel even fascinated about evaluating “Robust Man” to my EP STELLA & STEVE— with STELLA & STEVE I used to be listening to much more indie music and I feel that what you hearken to undoubtedly influences what your music appears like. And I feel it’s been attention-grabbing to see how I’ve been listening to completely different stuff and it’s been rubbing off on the music that I’ve been making. And I feel that for my new music— for the album I feel that undoubtedly listening to new stuff now it’s like, okay the album goes to sound very completely different to “Robust Man”. It’s cool how you are able to do something with creating.

BK: Yeah precisely.

B: And I feel that’s essentially the most thrilling factor about it’s that you may make one thing that sounds solely completely different to each different piece of labor you’ve executed.

BK: Completely, yeah. And you may see the expansion proper in your discography, which is so cool.

B: Certainly, you’ll be able to!

BK: Is there something that’s inspiring you proper now? Or one thing that you simply’re actually digging?

B: Ooh. Yeah, I imply I’ve been listening to a ton of music recently, as a result of I’ve been in isolation. (laughs)

BK: As a result of what else is there to do. (laughs)

B: There’s not loads else that you are able to do (laughs) I really like Tom Misch. Radiohead— I really feel like I’ve listened to Radiohead since I used to be like 8, and I really feel prefer it’s simply one thing that I all the time hearken to. I’ve been listening to— are you aware the Japanese Home?

BK: I do, yeah!

B: Dude, I’ve been loving them. I can relate to each lyric of hers. I generally am like, “I might’ve written that music” as a result of it’s like, each phrase speaks to me.

BK: Yeah!

B: Which is loopy. However, I imply, Bane’s World can be cool. I’ve a playlist proper in entrance of me. Oh, I’ve been listening to numerous New Zealand music.

BK: Oh, good.

B: There’s this man known as Muroki who’s actually sick. The Smiths, Cloak Bay, Grimes is fairly cool. Groove Armada, Slum Village, numerous completely different stuff. But it surely’s been cool with the ability to simply hearken to music and watch movies and sequence throughout isolation. (laughs)

BK: Completely. It’s sort of like you haven’t any excuse to not.

B: Yeah, you’ll be able to simply do it! Simply do it!

BK: You don’t even must really feel unhealthy, yeah! 

B: Mhm.

BK: Properly that’s so thrilling! I do know you simply mentioned you’re getting to enter the studio which implies…new music! (laughs)

B: (laughs) Yeah!

BK: That’s so thrilling! Are you able to say one thing about how that course of has been? How do you are feeling like that’s going making new music and what would you like folks to get from it?

B: Yeah, it’s been cool! It’s been tremendous thrilling making new music popping out of releasing STELLA & STEVE. I really feel like now engaged on an album — it’s going to be my first album ever, which is thrilling!

BK: Wow!

B: However yeah, I feel it’s like three quarters of the best way executed now. And I believed I had the whole lot in it that I needed to be in it, after which I introduced a few songs I made in isolation into the studio after which Josh made it sound good— to be trustworthy, as a result of I can’t produce to avoid wasting myself. (laughs) And I used to be like “rattling, these must go on the album too now.” So, yeah, it’s been tremendous cool and I really feel like isolation has undoubtedly helped me to plan what I need it to be like. 

BK: Yeah!

B: So yeah, it’s been good. Sorry, you go!

BK: Yeah, Zoom is so annoying like that. (laughs)

B: I do know, I by no means know when to cease speaking. (laughs)

BK: Do you know that it was going to be an album while you began or did it simply type of fall into place that means?

B: I had been speaking about making an album for ages.

BK: Mhm.

B: Like I feel that I used to be— after STELLA & STEVE, I used to be like, “alright, now I wish to launch an even bigger physique of labor.” I didn’t know what I needed to place within the album till not too long ago, although. And I feel that for me, it’s not usually a factor of like “okay I’m making these songs to go on the album.” It’s like, I’m simply making a bunch of songs after which in terms of being like “okay I would like to rearrange an album” it’s like I’ve songs— oh I’ve one music on the album that I wrote in 2017.

BK: Wow.

B: what I imply? So it’s like, simply selecting those that I like,

BK: Proper.

B: and placing them into just a little bundle.

BK: (laughs) Making it make sense.

B: Mhm.

BK: Wrap it up with a bow.

B: Uh-huh.

BK: That’s so thrilling! Properly, we’re actually excited for that, that’s going to be so large. I imply, moreover that, is there something you need folks to look out for from you within the subsequent few months? No matter which may be.

B: Ooh. Yeah, other than the album (laughs) and a single popping out in just a few weeks… a few weeks? I don’t know once I’m going to be asserting that— it needs to be quickly. I really like how I simply don’t know stuff.

BK: what, you made the music! (laughs)

B: So many others are onto it and I’m not likely certainly one of them. However, that’s alright, a music is popping out in just a few weeks. And I’ve a music video that’s being made proper now for it— haven’t instructed anybody that!

BK: Thrilling!

B: Yeah, so I’m tremendous enthusiastic about that. I feel simply giving folks stuff to observe and hearken to proper now’s one thing that lots of people sort of want, when you can really feel me.

BK: Completely.

B: And I feel that’s even why the BENEEfied episodes have been good proper now, as a result of everyone seems to be bored. (laughs) Watch this!

BK: Yeah, that is the right time! Extra content material!

B: Yeah!

BK: Issues for folks to do. Thanks a lot for sitting down and chatting with me immediately, I actually respect it! 

B: Yay!

BK: Thanks a lot!

B: In fact!

BK: Have a beautiful remainder of your day!

B: Thanks!

E mail Bridgette Kontner at [email protected]


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