Kiwi pop sensation Benee says she "freaked out" before meeting Sir Elton John, who she describes as the "the sweetest guy" following her appearance on his Rocket Hour radio show.
Benee (real name Stella Bennett) recently travelled to Sydney along with Six60 frontman Matiu Walters, to join the Candle in the Wind songwriter for an episode dedicated to New Zealand music which will air on Apple Music this Sunday.
The 20-year-old admits she was fizzing with excitement before meeting the man behind iconic songs such as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Tiny Dancer, and says she was surprised by his intimate knowledge of Kiwi music.
"It was pretty wild," Benee told the Herald.
"I freaked out beforehand and then I met him and he was just the sweetest guy and he was just so chill."
The episode features the two Kiwi artists listening to and discussing their own songs with John, who praised their talents and song-writing abilities.
"[Benee's] an amazing young artist with 30 million plus streams on Apple Music," John says.
"She writes really brilliantly, that's a great gift to be able to write your own stuff."
The trio also chat further about New Zealand music and play each other some of their favourite Kiwi songs including material from Split Enz, Th' Dudes, Aldous Harding, Fat Freddy's Drop, and Lorde.
"He was so knowledgeable about music," says Benee.
"We had to play him a few Kiwi songs and I chose an Aldous Harding song and one by this guy Muroki, and he knew them – he had obviously listened to them and seriously taken the time to listen.
"Muroki, he's from Raglan, but he's super low key. But Elton had obviously actually listened to it which I found pretty cool.
"He just knew so much about music. It was crazy – he's just like a wizard."
John is renowned for championing emerging musicians and boasts a strong track record of identifying and mentoring the popstars of tomorrow.
He keeps a close eye on the international music trends and reportedly gets sent a list of new albums every Monday morning and checks the British charts on a daily basis.
The 72-year-old has previously offered advice to and supported the likes of Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, James Blunt, Rufus Wainwright, and New Zealand Grammy Award winner Lorde.
Sunday's radio show also features John urging Benee's record label to release her track Supalonely as a single.
"[Supalonely] has just been picked up by TikTok so maybe the man's right," said Benee.
"It's pretty crazy. Maybe I should make it a single.
"I've just found out overnight that it's been picked up on TikTok which is crazy. It's pretty wild. It's cool how much he knows about new artists."
Appearing on John's radio show capped a huge week for Walters, who came away from the meeting feeling "on top of the world".
"It was a bit of a whirlwind because we had just played Western Springs that Saturday and that Monday I was getting interviewed by Elton John.
"He seemed normal. If it wasn't for his Gucci suit and diamond encrusted earrings you'd probably think he was a normal cat."
Walters was surprised at how much he knew about Six60 – who round out their summer national tour with a homecoming show at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
"He knew the details of our deal with our label and he had theories about the type of music we had. And without even seeing us live he would say stuff like 'I feel like a lot of people sing along at your shows'. So he could kind of read into the music which was really cool."
Benee says her parents – who are both Elton John fans – were thrilled to learn she would be meeting the music legend.
"Mum had this book full of his lyrics that she wanted me to get signed. He actually gave me his book and signed it instead.
"It's pretty crazy. I was like 'what?!' But I think he does that for all of the artists that come on the show."
Kiwi music stars Benee and Six60 frontman Matiu Walters appear on Elton John's Rocket Hour on Apple Music this Sunday, March 8.