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Artists to Listen to: Jacob Banks

Artists to Listen to: Jacob Banks

Edward Cooke

Meet Jacob Banks, the Nigerian-English singer/songwriter bringing back soul music.

With his sexy/sultry voice, this 26 year-old knows how to make song after song sound like a hit. No stranger to the industry, Jacob Banks released the pop-soul album The Monologue 2013. Worthy, the most streamed song off the album, is a moving ballad that could be interpreted as an inner wrestling between one’s worth in the eyes of a higher power. It perfectly showcases an inner struggle that many who were raised in religious households face at a certain point in their lives. Banks’ follow up to The Monologue was 2015’s The Paradox.

“The time has come for judgment day
And I’m standing here, begging you
Please take pity on me, take pity on me”

(Worthy, The Monologue)

Contrary to the more mellow tone of his first album, The Paradox seems to be more funk/R&B/soul driven, while still holding on to the gospel type of undertones that we previously heard. The album starts off with Sink or Swim, which is this really simple song in that it doesn’t say a lot, but it still holds a lot of meaning. Towards the end of the album we are so graciously blessed with the song Monster which features UK rapper, Avelino. Monster seems to be this big screw you song to all of the haters, but it’s done in such a graceful way that at first you almost don’t realize what it is.

Last year Jacob Banks released his EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom, infusing electro-pop with soul. Right off the bat we are given the song Chainsmoking, which seems to depict the battle between something that you know is toxic, and that you know you should let go, but that you keep running back to. The second song, Part Time Love is the most different from everything else of the EP and more reminiscent of what we’ve heard from Jacob in the past while the songs Chainsmoking, Mercy, and Unholy War more audibly incorporate the sounds of electronic music.

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“They made a story out of me
They laugh and joke about my name
They put a bounty out on me
They all excited by my shame”

(Monster, The Paradox)

Jacob recently lent his voice to Diddy Bop off of the Fifty Shades Freed album. The song, done with Chicago DJ’s and producers, Louis the Child, is this soulful poppy ballad that’s really true to Jacob’s sound. Jacob is set to perform at Coachella next month, and is also going on tour with X-Ambassadors this year, so check out his stuff below and see him while he’s on tour.

Spotify | Twitter | Tour Dates

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