Inspire and be inspired by Banks. She is as effortless in real life (*on the phone*) as she is in her music. Her magnificent voice transcends age, genre and time. Fascinated by her career growth rate which has proven exponential, with a limit to infinity and what’s in store for her new album – I picked her Brain (pardon the pun) on how it feels to be, HernameisBanks.
S.R: Thanks for taking time to chat! This year has been one helluva fantastic roll coaster for you. Earlier this year, SXSW and Coachella were your first festivals, where have you played since?
B: I just got back form Asia. I played in Indonesia (Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta), Tokyo and Poland. Pretty much the past few months I’ve been all over Europe and then I went to Asia. Really really exiting.
S.R: Do any festivals stand out?
B: I think for some reason, I played in Poland and I was feeling really drained at that point because we had been traveling just so much, and I got on stage and I got so much energy from the crowd! I took these stairs down into the crowd and walked through the audience. That was definitely a stand out moment for me.
S.R: I’ve never been to Poland I couldn’t even imagine what the audience would be like!?
B: They were incredible! Just absolutely the juiciest, most incredible crowd
S.R:. The Weeknd are one of my favourite artists thanks to Drake. What was touring with the Weeknd like?
B: You know, it was one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had. It was the first tour I’ve ever been on, and their first show was my second ever. I was completely new to performing. I just learned so much. I developed so much in such a short time because I was thrown in the deep end. I love Abel and his whole band. It was just amazing.
S.R: How did the tour come about?
B: I don’t know exactly how. I just remember much previous to the tour my manager asking, “If you could tour with anyone who would it be,” and I was like it would be sooo sick to open for the Weeknd. Then a few months later he was like, guess what “You’re going to open for them.” I was like “nooo wayyyy!”
To what extent does luck play a role in the road to success?
B: Mmm… I dont know. I’m not sure. hah. I’m not old and wise enough to answer to that yet. I was writing for you know, ten years. Working really heard because I didn’t think of it as work, I just did it non-stop. I was meant to meet my manager and the people I work with.
S:R The “luck” can be viewed as the well deserved non-monetary reward for all the hard work you’ve put in 🙂
B: Thank you 🙂
S.R: You were featured at number three on BBC Sound of 2014‘s list , how did it feel?
B: It was amazing. It’s a list that they put together to say who they are most excited about for next year. Everyone on that list I respect so much. They’re all such incredible artists. It was very flattered to be apart of.
S.R: Three is shaping up to be your lucky number! You were also named 3/20 in Huffington Post’s ‘Artist to Watch in 2014.’ How did that feel?
S.R: Is this the first you’ve heard?! That’s how you know you’ve made it for sure..
B: Yeh, I think so..hah!
S.R: Your debut album GODDESS drops this September featuring loads of collabs. Anyone you can spill the beans on now?
B: Yea! I mean I have some tracks will Lil Silva. T.E.E.D, Shlomo and SOHN. Just people early on I realised I had such deep artistic connections with. I definitely have a lot of them on my album which I’m lucky because they all inspire me so much.
S.R: How long did the album taken you to write and where did you draw inspiration from?
B: Since I was born it was being written in my mind. It’s just my life – my life is what I write about! What I go through, relationships… what affects me! It’s a perfect documentation of what I’ve been feeling the last few years. When I’m old and look back on the album I will know exactly what I was going through. It’s exciting and interesting for me to do it.
S.R: That is such a blessing. Not many people can look back in hindsight with such clarity as you will be able to. You live and learn. On that note, how important/not important is separating your public image verse your private image?
B: I’m just learning about all of that to be honest. There’s no difference between me as a human and me as an artist. I’m one thing. I’m definitely learning those boundaries right now because everything is so new. I’m not quite yet used to being to known. I’ve been doing it for ten years now. I need music. Music is like water. Music is how I function, but getting it out in the open is a new dynamic for me. So that’s where I am right now. It’s exciting and fun and I’m so fulfilled having people connect to my music. More than I could have imagined.
S.R: You album titled is “GODDESS.” How does the phrase, “Woman are Fearless Role Models,” resonate with you?
B: Women are fearless but I think everyone has fears. Women are the most powerful beings. We are mother earth.
S.R: How many calls did you receive when you posted your mobile # on your Facebook page?
B: haha a lot. I still have the number up there 😉
S:R More than 500?
B: Yeh!! Its’ been up for 1.5 years now.
S.R: Can you give any budding song-writers advice on chord writing?
B: I taught myself how to write music. I still don’t know what chords I’m playing. I do everything by ear. I’d say be patient with yourself, and with what you want to say and hear. There are no rules just be you. Gush out your own heart. It doesn’t need to sound a certain way. Just whatever comes out is what is should be.
S.R: Good advice! What does 2015 hold for you?
B: My album would have been out, so a lot of touring, more shoots, more videos and more travelling.
S.R: Is Australia on the cards…?
B: Yes! Yes it is.
S.R: and lastly, it’s to no surprise that you have such amazing style, like song writing, it’s another form of self-expression. What bag/item would you reward yourself with at the peak of your career?
B: I looove Celine bags.
S.R: Maybe they will read this interview and send you one over!! You never know!
S.R: Thanks so much for taking the time! Lovely chatting to you – Stoney Roads awaits your album with salivating ears!