By Christopher Prince
Being 26 isn’t ancient, yet it’s considered mature for an industry obsessed with producing commercial superstars for a teen clientele. Marketed as an alternative R&B artist, the American singer-songwriter known simply as Banks possesses a style that is worlds-apart from her posh Orange County upbringing.
Self-taught in the piano, Banks started writing songs at the age of 15 in reaction to her parents’ divorce. Her initial foray into the music industry didn’t come easily however. To promote her songs she took to the audio distribution website SoundCloud. Her first official single, Before I Ever Met You, was released in the February last year and picked up by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. From there Banks released her first EP as a digital download in March, entitled Fall Over.
Goddess, the first official album from Banks, debuted in September, a year after being nominated by the BBC for the ‘Sound of 2014’ and a successful international tour with Canadian producer The Weeknd. Goddess was well received by critics, with reviews praising the balance of alternative and pop sounds on her record. Banks then announced she would embark on her first headlining tour in 2015, scheduled to visit North America during May and June. While most new artists are eager to garner media exposure, Banks is selective about where she appears and to whom she speaks with, and it’s this rare exclusivity that will no doubt heighten her popularity over the next year.