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BENEE Makes History as Apple Music’s First New Zealand Up Next Artist

BENEE joins an esteemed list of musicians as one of the Apple Music Up Next artists, with the likes of Amy Shark & Billie Eilish having received the honour.

BENEE is set to take to Nova's Red Room on Thursday, May 14th.

Imogen Wilson/Supplied

New Zealand indie-pop singer BENEE has become the latest musician to join the ranks of Apple Music’s list of Up Next artists.

Announced earlier today by Apple Music Global Creative Director and Host Zane Lowe, BENEE’s honour comes following a few years spent rising to the top of the music industry, with singles such as “Supalonely” helping her find fans in big names such as Elton John.

“BENEE has rapidly established herself as one of the most undeniable new forces in modern pop with a sound and vision that’s 100% her own,” said Lowe of the fellow Kiwi artist. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to the Up Next family and can’t wait to watch her reach new heights.”

“I’m so honoured to be a part of Apple’s Up Next program,” BENEE said of the news in a statement. “I’ve watched so many of their past artists docos and it’s crazy that now I’m on the same platform.

“It’s also wild that I’ll be the first New Zealand Up Next artist. I feel like there’s so much good music coming out of NZ right now and I’m glad the spotlight is on this part of the world. This support means the world to me and I’m so stoked to be a part of it (:”

As BENEE notes, while she joins an esteemed list of amazing talent, she’s the first New Zealand musician to receive the honour. Launched back in 2017, Apple Music’s Up Next is a monthly initiative which is geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent.

Since its inception, the likes of Khalid, Billie Eilish, and Juice WRLD have all been deemed an Up Next artist, as have Australian acts such as Amy Shark and Dean Lewis.

Alongside the news of BENEE’s listing as an Up Next artist, Apple Music have shared both an interview with the musician and Lowe, alongside a preview of BENEE’s Up Next film, which sees her describing growing up as a “weird,” music-obsessed, Harry Potter-loving kid, finding early fame through posting covers online, and how music has served as an emotional outlet that lets her vocalise everything she can’t say with just words.

“Feels crazy, like looking back to 2019 when I was making pizzas, but it’s wild,” BENEE says of the success she’s had over the last year.

“Like I would not have ever thought that I would be doing this as a full time job right now. It’s like a little bit of a dream, isn’t it?”