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Interview: Banks

Fresh from the Orange County, Banks speaks to Muhammad Nuruzzaman about her inspirations, collaborations and the importance of being fashionable

When Jillian Rose Banks first hit the scene in 2013, the world immediately tuned in to her alternative R&B. Her two EPs that year scored her a bunch of award nominations, airplay on commercials and the honour of being pegged as the next big thing. The 26-year-old knew it was all coming together. And Goddess, her debut album that dropped just a few months ago, lived up to critical expectations. If Fiona Apple had formed a band with Lana del Rey and had The Weeknd as their producer, it’d probably sound like the record’s 14 tracks of moody pop.

Banks is certainly a not-to-be-missed act on the Laneway 2015 bill – but before that, read what she has to say about her music career so far.

‘It’s important to live in the present and not on the computer screen’

Your music has been dubbed as ’90s R&B, dance, dark electronica and soul. What inspires your sound? 

My music is inspired by my life: the people in my life, the people I have relationships with, the people I love, the people that make me feel something.

Which comes first: the words or the music?

They come together, like a melody and some chords. Or it could be a word that transcends a sentence and then it turns to lyrics. It’s a fluid process and it all comes together.

You’ve worked with a considerable amount of producers, like Jamie Woon, Lil Silva and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Tell us about that.

We’re fans of one another, so it happens naturally. With Shlomo, we both try to get in the studio together and that let it happen naturally. I mean, in order to work with somebody you have to be friends with each other.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of creative people I want to work with. I wanna work with Drake!

You’ve said that you’re never really been a social media person and rather communicate with fans via your phone – you’ve even published your personal number on Facebook. Do you think people are more honest outside social media?

I don’t know about more honest. I think social media is an interesting beast – you can’t get too caught up in it. People can get caught up in it sometimes, but I think it’s important to live in the present and not on the computer screen.

How interested are you in fashion, having been on the cover of many fashion glossies?

Fashion is a huge part of music and of who you are. It really sets the mood for a show and it’s fun to play around with it. You can get really creative in photoshoots as well. You know, just having fun with it. 

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