Over a year ago, Kiwi star BENEE’s “Supalonely” hit owned the radio and TikTok, cementing her place as an indie pop star that defines her generation. BENEE’s unique voice and blunt but playful lyricism made her debut album, “Hey u x” critically acclaimed and positively received by fans in the summer of 2020. Now, BENEE has released the music video to the song “Happen To Me” from the album.
BENEE shared, “Stoked to be sharing this music video with everyone! I filmed it with a bunch of mates, and it was the coolest set!” The set is filled with deep golds, plums and gothic imagery in a way that mirrors Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting.
The use of the High Renaissance work demonstrates the anxiety that flows through the track. BENEE is terrified of betrayal, her downfall and getting hurt — The Last Supper shows the disciples congregating before Judas reveals his perfidy. The lamb settled in front of BENEE also draws on biblical imagery, connecting to the meaning of being a lamb of God.
Da Vinci is revered for capturing a climactic moment of realizing betrayal, which is also seen as BENEE flips tarot cards and observes those around her. The painting was innovative, demonstrating emotional expression techniques not yet seen before, pioneering the coming age of artwork. BENEE describing her anxieties and inability to rest are representative of her striving to continually push bounds.
Furthermore, Da Vinci took three years to complete the project. There is speculation that he had a religious crisis while creating the work, or that it was just a product of his notorious procrastination. Both of these theories fit with the theme of the video. BENEE sings, “I think about these things too much/My mind likes to wind itself up/And I don’t get a lot of sleep/’Cause what if they happen to me?”
There is a morbidity to the displays of luxury, extravagance and impending destruction. The lyrics mesh with the obsession with death, “I’d like to die a better way/And if I live to an old age/I would have seen everything change.” There’s something unsettling about the video and the song once you look even a centimeter beneath the surface.
BENEE is the focal point of the video, especially as it shifts to her sitting atop a throne. The entire video centers around her, moving at a pace like her mind constantly analyzing all that is around her.
The video and track to BENEE’s “Happen To Me” are both filled with existentialism and opulence.