“Taking risks is the best thing ever, that’s what gets you anywhere.” – BENEE
I’d like to touch on risk-taking. I see this a lot in my marketing field of work; the balance of fear and vision.
If done right, the product of risk taking is more often than not a glowing success. The result ferociously surpasses those that methodically go through every mundane option only to choose the safest (and inevitably most limiting) on the radar. The fear and uncertainty of risk-taking pushes you to grow in the face of uncertainty, and work ten times harder in the pursuit of your goals.
So let’s all take the first step and not worry about making it perfect.
BENEE, (Stella Rose Bennett), New Zealand’s incredibly successful indie-pop phenomenon has taken some colossal risks as a young person in order to live out her wildest dreams in the best possible way. Let’s take a better look at just four of her bravest jumps.
1. Stepping into the music industry, young.
We’re not here to be a rolling wave of pure naivety and rainbows. The music industry is tough; especially when you’re young. When you put all of your time, energy and soul into your music it becomes an extension of your own self. To receive mass amounts of criticism, comments and negative reviews from the media on what is essentially your own personal style, is for sure a big test of strength. Thick skin is essential for creatives – that goes for designers, animators, and writers too. You need to be able to stay focused and passionate about your purpose in order to achieve your vision. This could have gone so wrong for young BENEE if she let the critics in.
2. Rocking a style that’s not exactly mainstream.
You will not cultivate your glorious self based on mass marketed trends viewed by millions of other people. BENEE like myself is for sure a believer of this, sticking to her own style in every aspect of the word. She’s not afraid to be unapologetically herself and point out her pimples to the world, wearing absolutely anything she wants and rocking Instagram posts that aren’t fantastically curated with picture-perfect captions and angles. This is important, taking the risk on your own self. Risking less likes and cornered societal acceptance for being exactly the damn person you want to be.
3. Being 110% real with the public.
BENEE is forever storytelling throughout her live performances. Her lyrics explore themes of romance, heartbreak, and vulnerability. My favourite would be the story behind her track ‘Monster’ where she was afraid to move out of home, only making it to her sleepout where she used to make her mum stay with her until she was comfortable enough on her own. What kind of global pop star admits human sensitivity like that? Of course, it comes with a risk. The risk of (god-forbid) everyone knowing your flaws.
“I feel what people connect to the most is when you’re just super honest. That’s like with any kind of form of art, just do whatever you want.”
4. Making music that’s wildly different.
Sad pop isn’t exactly your first thought on what’s going to get you to the top of the worldwide charts and playing on repeat in the hottest clubs. Roll it back to the 90’s and we’ve got Britney and Timberlake rocking the charts. The 2000’s then started to see street hip-hop and excitable pop come through and these genres have been leading the pack since. It’s just as of recently we’ve had this emotional exploration of sound coming through. It’s become increasingly cool to be vividly in touch with your emotions and artists are again making music as an outlet rather than as a business tactic. BENEE certainly takes the risk of bravely diverting away from what historically ‘makes it’ on the mainstream charts. Instead, she makes her craft to suit herself; which, because of the raw humanity baked into her pieces, ends up reflecting ourselves more than songs about finding love in the club ever could.
So my friends, take risks! Worrying about an outcome or feeling a loss of control about a decision is normal. Being bold and pushing through fear makes us grow. It can never be a complete failure, only a lesson. You never know what might happen… maybe you’ll become a global star and meet Elton John.
Maybe, you’ll just be exceptionally happy.