Benny Banks is being hailed as one of the UK’s freshest rap heavyweights after his recent signing to Warner Music. With over three million hits on YouTube and commercial success with hit “Bada Bing”, Wonderland caught up with the snappy London wordsmith to find out what’s next.
When did you start writing you own material, and when did you discover that you could rap with such amazing flow?
I got into music in 2009 and I was around a lot of people who were rapping so it sort of fell into place. I’m still working on my delivery, so I’ll take that as a compliment.
You write about personal experiences: growing up, private issues and the like. Do you ever feel you open yourself up too much for the world to see?
My music is supposed to be real. If I put on an act, my fans wouldn’t get to know the real me. I want everyone to watch me and my music mature. It’s all natural.
Channels like SB:TV and Grime Daily are heavily influential in bringing the rap genre into a commercial arena. How important is online social media and channels like this to an artist like yours’ career?
Very important – without it I doubt we’d be here now. Bigger music channels like SB”TV then started to get involved and work with me and now I’m all over the television. Social Media and things like Twitter certainly help out a huge amount.
You’re you’ve wracked up over three million YouTube hits so far. Do you ever get recognised in public?
I do. It’s crazy.
What advice would you offer younger and aspiring rappers?
I’d say to just be yourself, do your own thing and let it flow naturally.
You’re signed to a major label – will you still be producing free-to-download mixes now?
Yeah, of course. I’m Benny Banks and I’ll always do my thing. I believe the label trusts me and I don’t like moving backwards. I want to be innovative.
What producers are you working with on the forthcoming debut album?
ShowNProve, Felix, Astma Rockwell and maybe a few others – the production level is going to be high.
You’re supporting Dappy at the moment. Where else can we catch you over the next few months?
I’m on Mac Millers’ UK tour; I’ll also be doing PAs all over the UK, leading up to a few festival appearances this summer.
What can we expect from the album? any guest collaborations?
All I’m gonna say is “expect the best”.
Words: Shane Hawkins