Since her 2014 mixtape, “Once Upon A Grind”, South London rapper, Ms Banks, has been making a storm on the scene. The fierce AF artist has been championed for her lyricism and delivery, wowing with her ‘Fire In The Booth’ freestyle last year.
Now she is back with her newest track, “OMG”, which is a fire emoji banger. With a crazily catchy beat, Ms Banks’s energy is infectious and it’s difficult not to get seriously immersed in her amazing lyrical flow.
With more tracks and live performances on the horizon, we sat down with the exciting artist to learn more about her.
What is your earliest memory of music?
Definitely my mum listening to artists like Whitney Houston and En Vogue and the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Then I also had my uncle listening to drum and bass, my dad playing KRS1 and my aunty listening to various slow jams from Monica to Donnell Jones, Joe and Usher Raymond. I remember my family watching and listening to Congolese artist Koffi Olomide a lot as well.
How did you get into rap?
My mum’s brother Klaus suggested me writing to some drum and bass music when I was around 11/12 years old. I couldn’t really keep up with the tempo at the time so I ended up writing an a cappella and that’s where it started.
What is it like being a female rapper in a predominantly male genre?
It can be hard sometimes but I guess I’ve tried to use it positively as it’s helped me stand out amongst the crowd, since its so saturated with new male talent all the time.
Do you ever feel a pressure to conform to gender stereotypes?
Hell no! I’m my own boss, I do what I like, I do what I feel and I’ll never do anything to conform or to be accepted, I am who I am and that’s a big part of me not just as a person but an artist also. I think it’s so important to challenge what people expect you to do just because of your gender, race and background. Why limit yourself because of other people’s views of what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
“Seeing how creative one can be and how far they take it is always motivational.”
You’re currently touring! What’s your favourite thing about performing live?
Being able to share my music with the crowd and feel their energy, see their reaction and see how they receive it and to give them a show to entertain them, I love it all. Performing is my favourite part because I get to engage with the people. A lot of them have been supporting me from the beginning but then it’s also a great opportunity for me to perform to new people and give them a flavour of what I’m about. Live shows are also a great way of bringing people together so that’s always a good thing too.
You’ve said previously that Nicki Minaj is a big inspiration to you; who/what else keeps you motivated musically?
Other good female artists past and present and all artists in general. Seeing how creative one can be and how far they take it is always motivational. My mum and the area I come from inspires me a lot as well, it could be the little things, like what I see on the way to the shop or bigger things like how hard my mum worked to put food on the table, it all motivates me and keeps me going.
What can you tell us about your upcoming single “OMG”?
It’s grimey, it’s hype, it’s energy, it’s real, it’s feelings, it’s all about how I felt when I heard the beat. How I feel when I get on stage, how I feel when I jump off the plane, how I feel everyday, it’s a vibe.
Describe your sound in three words…
Gritty, pretty, raw.
What else is in store for 2017?
More live shows, more great music and just more of me sharing my story. I have a lot coming this year, so get ready!