Buro 24/7 Interview: Banks
On touring with The Weeknd and the people that inspire her
Jillian Banks, known simply as BANKS, is a LA-based singer making waves in the music industry with her gentle, sincere vocals, and soft electronic sound.
After listening to a few bars of any number of her tracks, it's little wonder that the 25-year-old star is being credited with 'giving new hope to the resurgence of RnB music', according to critics.
Buro 24/7's Diana Pashkovskaya managed to talk with the singer and ask her a few questions about her past, present and future...
You became famous in a very short time. At the beginning of 2013 you posted a song to your SoundCloud profile, and four months later Zane Lowe played it. Today, millions of people around world know about you. How does that feel?That's a good question. The answer is very simple: I feel just fine! I think I'm very, very lucky and I'm really happy. I have the opportunity to do something that shows the true me. And the feeling when you share your work, a part of yourself - that's the most beautiful feeling in the world.
You started music at a very young age, and once mentioned that was to do with your family?
Yes, my parents divorced. And so I began to play music and write lyrics about what happened to me, what was in my heart and I was going through.
What do you sing about now?
All my songs are about me, and what's going on with me. Each line is something very personal and emotional.
Are you afraid open your soul to complete strangers?
When I decided to share my music with others, something clicked. I switched to a completely different level of perception of everything. For ten years I wrote for myself, and then decided to write to all. And I made a kind of transformation. I share completely ordinary human emotions that are familiar to everyone. Listening to my songs, people experience not only my story, but also their own. The fear disappears in time.
What inspires you?
People in my life. People whom I love. People whom I am in love with. Those who hurt me.
Who is your ideal audience?
You have been put on a par with artists like Frank Ocean, Autre Ne Veut, The Weeknd, acts that share your sincerity. Do you think that's the musical direction of the future?
Good question. Listeners expect honesty, which, in my case, is quite heavy and yes, I want to move in this direction, resulting in something that isn't just music, but something special, personal.
Who else is worth keeping an eye on this year?
This year I expect a lot from Lil Silva. He is awesome! Also an interesting one to watch is Kwabs, a very specific character on the new scene, and not afraid to mix jazz and gospel music with electronics. And, of course, Sampha.
What can we expect from you this year, in addition to your anticipated album?
The main thing for me this year is definitely my album. Plus I will go on tour for a few festivals.
Speaking of tours, you've already been on one with The Weeknd.
What was that like?
There are few words to describe how great it was. Abel is just awesome! Annd what am amazing experience for my first tour. Frankly, I didn't know what to expect, but they strongly supported me, so I was very comfortable.
And finally, can you give one piece of advice to those who are taking their first steps into the music industry...
Patience. Patience. This industry is very fierce. Although, in truth, what isn't? Do things that reflect your essence. Trust your own creativity, and you can't go wrong.