Benny Tipene

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Benny Tipene
Birth name Benjamin Tipene
Born (1990-04-19) 19 April 1990 (age 27)
Auckland, Auckland Region, New Zealand
Origin Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Genres Indie folk, pop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2009–present
Labels Sony Music New Zealand
Associated acts The Nerines

Benjamin "Benny" Tipene (born 1990) is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and musician. He is known for his appearance on the first New Zealand series of The X Factor where he finished in third place. Competing in the Boys category, he was mentored by Ruby Frost. His debut single "Walking on Water" was released on 29 July 2013 and debuted at number two on the Official New Zealand Music Chart and was certified platinum.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Tipene was born in 1990 in Auckland. In 2007 he and classmates at Freyberg High School formed a band which became indie rock group The Nerines, and went on to be a popular act on Palmerston North's live music scene.[3] After switching from electric to acoustic guitar while travelling in Europe, Tipene returned to New Zealand and began performing acoustic songs and embarked on a tour of flats in Palmerston North.[4] Tipene also recorded demos and albums that were released on Bandcamp. At the time of his The X Factor audition in early 2013, Tipene lived off music, working one day a week at a Palmerston North musical instrument retailer and playing professional gigs on weekends.[5]

The X Factor[edit]

Tipene initially attended the Palmerston North pre-audition on 21 January 2013, where he was put through to the judges' auditions. At his judges' audition, Tipene performed a sung version of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" accompanied with acoustic guitar, eventually progressing to the top 13 in the live shows.[6]

In week six, after a performance of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" Tipene was in the bottom two with Tom Batchelor. With mentor Ruby Frost declining to vote against either of her acts, Batchelor was sent home from a majority vote from judges Stan Walker and Daniel Bedingfield, saving Tipene. In week nine, Tipene performed his own song "Boxes", the first New Zealand The X Factor contestant to perform an original song outside of auditions or a sing-off.[7] During the final shows on 21 and 22 July, Tipene performed the Bat For Lashes song "Laura" and duetted with Dave Baxter of Avalanche City on the song "Love Love Love",[8] then performed his audition song "Hey Ya!". Tipene came in third place from the audience vote.[9]

List of performances on The X Factor[edit]

After The X Factor[edit]

After The X Factor, Tipene was signed to Sony Music New Zealand. His debut single "Walking on Water" was released in July 2013.[10][11] It debuted at No.2 in the Official New Zealand Music Chart and was certified platinum in December 2013.[2][12] Tipene was featured on the cover of the August/September issue of New Zealand music magazine Rip It Up.[13]

Tipene's second single, "Make You Mine", was released in December,[14] and was also used in Coca-Cola's "Coke loves summer" New Zealand ad campaign.[15] In February 2014, Tipene's debut EP Toulouse was released. The EP contained six tracks, including the earlier single "Make You Mine"[16] and new single "Lonely".[17]

In May, "Make You Mine" was used in a promo for the fourth season of the popular Australian Seven Network television series Winners & Losers.[citation needed] In June Toulouse was released in Australia, with "Make You Mine" debuting in the ARIA Charts.[18]

Tipene's debut album Bricks was released in October, and included the singles "Step On Up" and "Good Man".[19][20][21][22] Tipene's EP "Toulouse" was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards, with Tipene also performing at the awards ceremony in November.[23]

In 2015, Tipene returned to The X Factor to assist judge Natalia Kills with the Boys category at judges' retreats.[24] Tipene's sixth single "Lanterns" is due to be released in May.[25]

Though Tipene came in third place of The X Factor, he has gained more recognition for his work on The X Factor than all other contestants, such as winner Jackie Thomas.

Live shows[edit]

In the summer of 2013/2014, Tipene performed at a number of events and festivals, including Christmas in the Park events in Auckland and Christchurch,[citation needed] the Rhythm & Vines music festival,[26] the Coke Loves Summer festivals at Mt Maunganui and Whangamata,[27] the Parachute music festival,[28] and the Homegrown music festival.[29]

In July 2014, Tipene toured with Anika Moa on the So Good They Named It Twice tour of North Island towns with double names.[30]

In the summer of 2014/2015, Tipene was a headline act at Christmas in the Park in Tauranga[31] and performed at Christmas in the Vines in Auckland.[32] Tipene is also due to perform at the Homegrown music festival in 2015.[33]



Year Nominee/work Award Result
2014 Benny Tipene - Toulouse 2014 New Zealand Music Awards - Best Pop Album Nominated[23]


  1. ^ "Benny Tipene in New Zealand Charts". Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "26 August 2013". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Massey mash-up for The Nerines". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Emerging Artist – Benny Tipene". Massive. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "A little bit of X-factor". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Palmerston North Rockshop Staff Member Benny Tipene in X Factor Top 11!". Rock Shop. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Celebrity fans back Benny". Stuff. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "X Factor: Provincial pride and promises". Stuff. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Jackie Thomas wins X Factor NZ". 3 News. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Galuszka, Jono. "Benny stops off in Palmy on way to the top". Stuff. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "X Factor Favourite Benny Tipene Surprises Fans – Debut Single". Scoop. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "09 December 2013". The Official NZ Charts. Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Pre-order: The August/September issue now and get a free gift". Rip It Up. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Make You Mine is the title of my next track! 6th of December!". Facebook. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Coke Brings X Factor to Kiwis this summer". Scoop. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Benny Tipene to release debut EP 'Toulouse'". Libel Music. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Lonely – Single". Benny Tipene. iTunes. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Toulouse Benny Tipene". Sony Music Entertainment Australia. iTunes. 
  19. ^ "Step On Up - Single". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Anika Moa and Benny Tipene". Event Finder. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Video: Stacey and Justin chat with Benny Tipene". The Hits. Radio Network. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Bricks". iTunes. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  23. ^ a b Jenkin, Lydia (16 October 2014). "This year's NZ Music Award contenders revealed". NZ Herald. APN. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "The X Factor". TV3. Mediaworks. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "Excited to announce that I have a new song coming out called 'Lanterns'!". Benny Tipene. Facebook. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Wiz Khalifa, Kode9, Benny Tipene join Rhythm & Vines". NZ Herald. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "I Love Summer". Coke Loves Summer. Coca-Cola. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Parachute second line-up announced". NZ Musician. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  29. ^ "Homegrown 2014 First Lineup Announced". The Corner. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Anika Moa and Benny Tipene Double Up For Shows". So Good Tour. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  31. ^ Wiggins, Amy (28 November 2014). "Christmas in the Park 2014 - line up announced". Bay of Plenty Times. APN. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "Christmas in the Vines with Sol3Mio". Villa Maria. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  33. ^ "Pop & RNB Stage". Homegrown. Homegrown. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

External links[edit]