While he was born in Nigeria, Jacob Banks moved to Birmingham in England at the age of 13. Right now, Jacob Banks is a 25-year-old musician and song writer based in England that makes intensely beautiful music.
The young man has three solid bodies of work; The Monologue an E.P released in 2013, The Paradox another E.P released in 2015 and The Boy who cried Freedom from 2017. While this seems like baby talk, Jacob has done a lot of work underground in the music scene. He first played around music with his friend. When that friend died, Jacob sang in his funeral and pushed for a career in music; focused his attention on building a wide fan base.
Jacob Banks got his start at open mic nights and quickly garnered a following for his commanding vocal presence and daringly intimate songwriting. His music features richly textured beats, with its 808s and synth play, African inspired grooves and a soulful disposition that culminates in an unstoppable new sound.
There is a subtle intimacy and introspection to his song writing that endears and draws people close to his lyrics. In 2012, he won a regional category at the Mobo UnSung awards.
He supported Emeli Sande on her April 2013 UK tour, featured on Wretch 32‘s song “Doing OK”, featured on Chase and Status‘ “Alive” and supported them, on their Brand New Machine 2013 UK tour.
His song, “Move With You” was featured in EA Sports game, FIFA 15. In 2013, one of his songs, “Worthy”, was played in the American TV series Suits in Season 3 Episode 9. His song “Unknown” was featured in the Season 3 finale of the Starz TV series Power, and received viral attention for his tremendous voice. This attention led to the song “Monster” featuring in the first episode of Season 4.
Despite identifying as a Brit, the Nigerian born musician deserves all of our love and support as he is making great incredible music. He is currently preparing for his tour of North America.
You should check out his song Monster.
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin