Chartbreaker: How BENEE Turned Her Breakup Into a Quarantine-Ready Hot 100 Hit

 

In April 2019, New Zealand pop singer BENEE was at her first-ever writing session in Los Angeles. Within four hours, she had turned her breakup — which had taken place less than a week before — into a hit. 

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Benee & Gus Dapperton Hit Hot 100 For First Time With 'Supalonely' 

Right before BENEE left for L.A., she had ended her on-and-off long-distance relationship with the guy she had been dating for a couple years. Being alone — and in a new city, where her friends and mom weren’t there to comfort her — proved difficult. But she was able to confide in producer Josh Fountain and Canadian singer-songwriter Jenna Andrews -- "I vomited my words into my notes and computer,” she says. Together, they wrote “Supalonely.” 

Now, the song (which features Gus Dapperton) is enjoying an 11-week run on the Billboard Hot 100, recently reaching No. 39. “It’s been pretty insane, “says BENEE, who has watched the track take off on TikTok and U.S. radio over the past few months. “I was like, ‘What the heck is happening?’” 

Growing up in Auckland, BENEE (born Stella Rose Bennett) played classical guitar and saxophone while singing in the school choir. By the end of high school, she was recording covers of artists like Gnarls Barkley and sharing them online for fun among friends. 

To her surprise, she caught the attention of her now-manager Paul McKessar and producer Josh Fountain, who frequent Lorde collaborator Joel Little chose to take over his Auckland recording studio. In December 2017, BENEE released her first team-up with Fountain, the sultry "Tough Guy.” “That was when I knew that music was something I wanted to at least try out," she says, "and then I figured out what music I wanted to make.”