Revisiting 2020 with BENEE

Benee by Nicole Hajjar

The smell of banana bread rising in the oven, the taste of smooth, whipped coffee on your tongue and the sound of TikTok sensation Super Lonely in your ears. It’s 2020, you’re stuck inside, you’re missing your friends and worried for your loved ones.

How did we get through it? We fought, from our kitchens, over zoom cameras, we united whilst apart. And we had our warrior anthems to get through it, leading us to make TikTok dances, discover new passions, although listening to them may take us back to that time, these songs brought us together.

I remember spending most of those sunny afternoons sweating to Super Lonely, trying desperately to master the moves then proudly showing my mum when I’d done it, persuading her to give it a go too.

Which is why I’m so excited that this week’s podcast episode is with the sensational BENEE who is preparing for her World Tour. She explained what it feels like to be back outside…

“It’s nice that we can finally go out and play shows. That wasn’t happening at the time which was quote frustrating, the touring side of things is such a huge part of this world and we need it so much to connect to the people that listen to our music”

Marry Myself Benee

Her world tour is a celebration of the her latest release, Lychee which sees her go from being ‘Super Lonley to feeling like she should marry herself, in her song “Marry Myself’

I think over the last couple of years my whole attitude has shifted, when I wrote super lonely  I was getting over my ex, moving out of a toxic relationship and since then especially in this last year I have found this new sense of independence  it think that’s a really powerful thing when you’re comfortable with yourself and by yourself  I feel like I really missed not feeling like  I needed to depend on someone else. I sort of lost myself in the relationship and I dint know who I was whereas now I am really excited to be writing about random stuff like marrying myself which is completely made up I’m not actually wanting to marry myself but it’s fun to sing about.”

Benee by Nicole Hajjar

Have you seen The Batman yet? A brooding R-Patz and sultry but sinister Zoe Kravitz stun audiences in the latest instalment of the franchise.

I am a massive fan of Twilight Robert Pattinson is gorgeous. I was originally thinking something beachy then I kind of went to this director I have worked with before called Roy and gave him the challenge on how to treat the video without me saying anything to him. He came back with this really dark treatment that was like me dancing around a devil in a dungeon, I didn’t want people thinking I was some sort of Satan Worshipper but I liked  the polar opposite idea of the song, because it’s not what you envision when you listen to beach boy. I wanted to be a vampire, so I was really happy about it .I like becoming a character, dressing up. I just want to be everything”.

Beach Boy by Benee

Some of her songs explore emotional themes, which still manage to make us bop through our tears;

Never ending or doesn’t matter are both emotional and deep lyrically. Weirdly I find these the easiest to write about, the creative process is more swell, I guess it’s because i don’t really think about releasing it whilst writing. I’m able to be vulnerable. I wanted to have a dark theme and ideas just popped out like crazy”.

Two years on from Super Lonely this EP showcases how BENEE has evolved with her musical style, gaining autonomy and control over her preferred sound.

I think, just like with every release, it shows growth, it shows where I’m at with my life, and how I’m feeling. I think my writing has improved,  I see my own personal development and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different sounds. I feel more confident, I’m making music I want to make”

Benee by Nicole Hajjar

It’s no longer 2020 anymore, 2022 sun shining, less covid cases and no lockdowns. This allows musicians the freedom to share their sings again, in person , on stage, performing to adoring fans. I spoke to BENEE about how she is feeling in the face of this.

 How do you prepare for World tours?

“We do lots of rehearsals and I must like pack four bags, a lot of packing and mentally preparing. There’s a lot of work that goes behind the planning of the tour but it’s nice when it finally sets off.”

What’s your favourite place to go on tour?

I love touring anywhere. It’s insane to imagine people in a different country listening to your music. Even when I’m in Australia, I’m like omg this is insane. Berlin was pretty insane; it might just be because if the pace but all of the people are insane.”

How do you interact with fans?

I’ve had some really funny meet ups with fans, I just laugh and hug them honestly, I don’t even know what I’d be like if I met someone, I was a huge fan of, I would probably go quiet.. You just got to hype them up and hug them.”

Do you have fans that you keep in touch with?

Yeah, for sure. On my Instagram, that’s probably where I’m most active with talking to fans. I often will DM/ reply to comments and then hope to meet them in real life.”

Despite her success, and deserved stardom ship status her career has not been without challenges proving that the struggle is real for all musicians and this should never get you disheartened.

Yep for sure. Lockdown was a big one, other than that just generally being a woman. It’s a different ride, I feel like it’s harder, people are harsher online. It’s very toxic. When I first started people enjoyed making comparisons, really lazy comparisons, also the hate comments you receive when you’re a woman. It just sucks, mentally  challenging especially for artists, because you’re putting yourself out there to be judged. It’s an odd thing having people judge your music because it’s your art”.

Why is music so important to you?

It’s my emotional outlet. When I’ve been at my lowest  it’s the only thing I want to do. The only thing that helps is writing and singing which is cheesy but so true. We need music, it helps everyone.

Listen to Lychee now!

If you want to keep up to date as to when new blog posts/podcast episodes will be out, follow my Instagram EVOLVE music.

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