J-14 is scouting out the hottest music around... and this week's pick is Benni Cinkle.
Here are five things you need to know about Benni Cinkle whose new single "Gotta Get Out" is out now!
1. Does this blonde look familiar to you? That's because you probably saw her first in Rebecca Black's "Friday" music video. Two hundred million views later, she gained major backlash and criticism from the video. "I didn't take things personally. I realized that the people who were saying terrible things to me or about me, didn't know me," Benni tells J-14. "Remembering that helped me keep everything in perspective." But what you don't know is that she's been an aspiring singer-songwriter long before the "Friday" phenomena.
2. Inspired by stories she read on a website called SixBillionSecrets.com, she penned her first song "Can You See Me Now" long before her "Friday" fame. "I didn't know what to do with it, so I just tucked it away in a drawer," Benni tells J-14. When she received attention from the "Friday" video, she saw this as an opportunity to send a message of hope to kids that may need it. "In 'Can You See Me Now' the message is that you can get through whatever terrible thing you might be going through and come out stronger," she says.
3. With music as a hobby, her main focus is activism against bullying. She has her own non-profit charity 'That Girl In Pink', which focuses on preventing teen suicide due to bullying. After receiving thousands of messages daily from teens asking her how she dealt with bullying of her own, she even penned an e-book called "That Girl In Pink's Internet Survival Guide." It is available for free download at her website ThatGirlInPink.Org.
4. Benni's latest single "Gotta Get Out" is a song that any young girl can relate to. "[It's] about hope. It's about believing in yourself and not giving up on your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they might seem," she says. "In the music video, which will be released soon, I play a girl who knows that she can be more than what she is expected to be. She dreams of traveling to big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Paris."
5. This fall Benni, hopes to travel to several schools to give an anti-bullying presentation. Where does she see herself five years from now? "I hope to be finishing my second year of college. While I plan to continue with my non-profit work, the most important thing to me is school," Benni tells J-14. "I want to remain in regular school, go to college, and one day, go to law school. I really like debating issues, defending the underdog, and fighting for things I believe in."
Check out her lyric video below for "Gotta Get Out" and let us know what you think!
Courtesy of Matthew Scott Drake