19-year-old New Zealand artist Benee (aka Stella Bennett) plunged into the music scene by uploading covers on Soundcloud before releasing her official EPs ‘Fire on Marzz’ and ‘Stella & Steve’. Bennett was a water polo player throughout her schooling but found a passion & talent for music. It was this realization after 2 weeks of attending university that motivated Benee to drop out and pursue her passions for a music career. Her official debut single “Soaked” garnered her critical acclaim and an immediate fanbase, while “Glitter” built upon that success and became associated with millions of TikTok videos during the ‘I Know It’s Getting Late’ Now Baby Challenge. Her early success is punctuated by overcoming and dealing with her struggles with dyslexia. Benee stated, “throughout school, I struggled with writing. I liked creative writing, that was what I loved, but I was always making mistakes. Songwriting for me was this place where I don’t have to be grammatically correct. It’s a great emotional outlet for me; I just love splashing what I feel on to a track.”
B-Sides caught up with Benee at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA where she spoke about her first performance at a birthday party, live shows, some of the themes on ‘Stella & Steve’ and more.