“My sound is very fluid and it takes on many different forms. I’d ultimately call myself a storyteller.”
Like all trailblazers, Jacob Banks has honed his signature sound which is steeped in the swing of R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, and the grit of hip-hop. In between attending Coventry University, the 21-year-old hit the open mic circuit. He cut his teeth at countless impromptu gigs, and the apathetic nature of these shows would deeply inform and shape his captivating performance style.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HAD NEVER HEARD YOU BEFORE?
My sound is very fluid and it takes on many different forms. I’d ultimately call myself a storyteller. I don’t just play one genre or stand for one sound. I’m a microcosm of many things and experiences, and I want to share all of these with people.
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
I love my Fela Kuti just as much as I love my Kanye West and K-Ci & JoJo, I’m influenced a lot by Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean and D’Angelo.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Every time I write, I give so much of my soul and life away. I wanted to slow it down and give fans a chance to actually live with the music. Even if the first half is out, I can be in the studio and keep pushing myself on the second. The first chapter is the African side. The second chapter is the Western side. It represents my life.
LOOKING BACK ON YOUR MUSICAL CAREER SO FAR, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECT, AND IF YOU HAD TO DO IT AGAIN WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
There’s nothing I would do differently, although I’d always admit that I have made a lot of mistakes. But I do feel like all those mistakes have been very pivotal. The most important and enjoyable part is just the journey really, just learning, and there’s no real method to the madness – you just make sense of whatever cards you’re dealt! I enjoy the kind of having my back against the wall and making sense of everything. My plan this year is to drop an album and hit the road again! And just continue to live on a bus for as long as I can.. More than anything, just stay happy, and that’s the plan.