New For '19
We're shining a spotlight on the best up and coming New Zealand artists set to dominate 2019. Meet Auckland alt-pop singer-songwriter Bene.
Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.
It’s been a rapid rise for Grey Lynn, Auckland singer-songwriter Bene. After the quiet release of her debut single Tough Guy towards the end of 2017, she truly burst onto the scene with it’s follow up single, the brilliantly magical balance of R&B groove and alt-pop hooks that is Soaked.
The 18-year-old future superstar first introduced herself to the musical world through a series of covers uploaded to her Soundcloud – Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and an acoustic version of Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont were just a couple that peaked early music industry attention. It was in her final year of high school that she decided she wanted to pursue music full time.
And she’s made a pretty good start at it. With only two singles under her belt, she’s already performed at The Others Way and Laneway Festivals, supported the likes of Winston Surfshirt and Lily Allen, and even teamed up with French producer Petit Biscuit for an Australian radio performance.
With the promise of more songs to come, Bene is calling 2019 her year, and we are fully supporting this sentiment. We’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg here, so now is a great time to get to know Bene.
From the beginning
“I started making music at the start of 2017. It was my last year of high school and there was all this pressure for us students to know what we wanted to do and go to uni. I was one of those kids that thought they knew what they wanted to do so I went to uni for two weeks then decided that my passion actually lay with music. I’d just released Tough Guybefore enrolling, but the idea of pursuing music kinda seemed too good to be true at that point. The response and interest that sparked as a result of that release encouraged me to actually give music a solid shot. I couldn’t think of anything worse than doing something I wasn’t fully passionate about for the rest of my darn life.”
What you’ll hear
“I like the idea of mixing musical genres. What I’m going for, and how I think you’d describe my music is a mix of alternative pop infused with R&B and indie elements.”
Influences & inspiration
“I think that for me art has a significant influence on my music. I’m a visual thinker so when I’m writing I like the sounds and lyrics to help create strong images in my mind. For example ‘soaked up in my brain’ provokes an instant image.
“I want my BENE project to be something like a Jackson Pollock painting. I want to use different materials and textures in both the visual and musical sides of my work –a whole lot of different components splattered together to create a unique whole.
“As for my musical influences, there are so many different kinds of music that help shape my work. I’ve always listened very widely, but I’d have to say my current obsession lies with the Arab music genre folder on Spotify. It’s filled with all these crazy Arabic rap artists that blow my mind and give me this drive to really explore other areas of song crafting.”
For the love of music
“I love the empty space, the blank canvas, just sitting there staring at me asking me to spew out ideas onto it. Having the ability to create whatever I want, to write a story and be able to weave my own melodies into it and create something that embodies what I’m about.”
“I’d say right now is my highlight. I’m in the process of signing a record deal so I guess that this gear change, shifting this project into a serious job for me, is the coolest thing in the world.”
The hard yards
“The biggest challenge so far has been not letting other people change my work.”
The year ahead
“I kickstarted the year with Laneway Festival, and then have a couple of Australian shows around the end of Feb.”
Bene – Soaked
Her second single and breakthrough hit, Soaked is an R&B-injected pop number filled to the brim with ’80s funk-pop nostalgia. Telling the tale of regret following an important conversation where you couldn’t find the right words, it’s irresistibly catchy and fun.
Bene – Tough Guy
Bursting onto the scene with this as her debut single, Bene immediately left an impression with her infectious melodies and solid songwriting. This track is about pretending to be tough when underneath we’re all vulnerable.
Check out the rest of our New For ’19 feature artists here.
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