Arts and Culture

Banks is Money

KRISTIN STEBBINS

STAFF WRITER

  She has been on the Divergent soundtrack. She is featured in numerous advertisements on the Internet. If you haven’t heard of her yet, now is the time. With instrumental grooves that are reminiscent of classic 90’s R&B, and her emotionally fueled voice, Jillian Banks (preferred to be referred to as simply Banks), is already making an impression in 2014.

   A native to Los Angeles, Banks has been writing music ever since she was 15 years old. Even so, her rise as an artist has come slowly. Now 26, she only started releasing music last year. And even though she only had one extended play (EP) that contained merely four songs, entitled “London,” and a couple
singles out by the end of 2013, she was
already an artist to watch. Music moguls like Billboard praised her, calling her a
“magnetic writer with songs to obsess over.” Famous artist Ellie Goulding
commented that she listened to Banks
fairly often.

   Even with all of this attention, Banks has somehow maintained substantial
anonymity into 2014. Reluctant to use
social media, Banks has not been heard from much. She almost never used her
Facebook or her Instagram, and she
only took on interviews rarely, seeming to avoid public scrutiny. By May, however, she had come out of hiding. For starters, she was featured on
the “Divergent” soundtrack in March with her single “Waiting Game.” She also performed at Coachella, which earned her even more praise. And in May, she
announced her debut album, “Goddess,” which was released Sep. 9.

   “Goddess” is an album that fuses
different forms of music together to create an edgy, vulnerable, and cool presence. Producers such as Lil Silva, SOHN, and Jamie Woon contributed to the intriguing, slick beats and  instrumentals featured
on the album, in tracks such as “Stick” and
“Alibi.” Banks also uses her vocal range to her advantage, as she belts some
emotional pieces like “Under the Table”
and “You Should Know Where I’m
Coming From.” Positive reactions to the album have actually been fairly abundant, with prominent sites such as
the Guardian calling the album “an
accomplished debut.”

Banks may still be relatively
unknown, but she is coming out from the
underground music scene with so many people praising her style and sound. Hopefully, she will continue her rise to fame and will gain more recognition for the music that is now attracting more
and more people.

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