reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old
sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad
last album drop: the paradox (july 2015)
This man is here on this blue and green marble to do one thing: save soul. Without soul we have nothing in music. Jacob Banks hails from Nigeria and scooted over to the UK at the young age of 13 where he explored just about every creative arts form. He can hit the keys, strum the guitar and oh baby, can he get those pipes going. He expanded his gift of belting sounds out to writing songs about six years ago and we should all be thankful someone put him in the studio to do just that. He earned his stripes the hard way too, hitting all the open mics he could back home, something that flourished into a career that has begun to take him around the world. What impresses me about this man is his ability to tell stories with his writing. As he described to Billboard, regarding the music video for his tune “Unholy War,” “This video depicts how the world gives people shit for things that are out of their control and the sacrifices people make to keep their magic alive.”
When an individual like Jacob can not only have a commanding vocal presence, the deep ties to society make him even more relevant in my eyes. He has this delicious and nutritious mix of soul, r&b with toppings that include hip-hop and even some good ol’ rock. You can hear the 80s creeping into the 2010s and even some influence form his home country in Africa. This man is only 26 mind you and quite seasoned in the array of styles he can produce. As each song funnels its way into your ears, it will move your body in so many different ways and despite what the lyrics may write out, the sound alone will put smiles on your face.
The first time I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Banks grace me with his presence was at a private showcase at SXSW this year. After lighting up a nice J of Cali’s finest with some new homies, we crept to the back of the small crowd and preceded to drop our jaws...and they just would not close shut. He gives you goosebumps with his range of vocals.. His band makes the hairs on your arms stand up straight. The chills are there in all the right ways. While he has only released a few singles on top of his 2015 release, there is no ceiling in sight for this man. His blends of genres and youth of his career can only allow this man to grow musically. Take a seat, throw on his tunes, and melt into that thing because you won’t need to move anytime soon.