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Hot New Talent Alert: Listen to Jacob Banks 'Worthy' [Review]


It's hard to believe that Jacob Banks started singing only less than two years ago. "I started singing around August 2011," the gifted British soul crooner explains in a recent interview. "Prior to that I used to sing in my shower. I was a professional shower singer. I've always loved music but I never tried to be an artist. One of my closest friends always used to push me to do it. He'd take me to shows and be like "that could be you up there you know.'"

In a tragic twist of faith, that friend who encouraged Banks to sing unexpectedly passed away. "I remember his mum asked me to sing at his funeral," Banks says. "From there on I felt like I owed it to him to try it out because he was such an influence in my life. I always believe in my music that everything that happens to me is because of him, because he wants it to happen."

Jacob entered a competition to do a session with Plan B and uploaded an acoustic performance of a song that he had wrote in 20 minutes that ended up winning the competition out of thousands of entrants. "Working with Ben [Plan B] was the biggest motivation I could ever receive as he was only meant to spend a couple hours with me but stayed for 24 hours and invited his band to come to the session," Jacob remembers.

After signing to the management company that also manages Wretch 32, Banks developed a very special relationship with the British superstar rapper. "Wretch 32 is like a mentor to me and he’s always told me to be honest in my music," Banks explains, adding that he decided to ink one of Wretch's classic lyrics on his chest, "The only reason I go to sleep is to ensure I still have a dream."

Banks released his debut EP, entitled "The Monologue," on iTunes in the U.S last week. Lead tracks on the 8-track record include "Dear Simone," "Yolo," "Rainy Day" and the intensely soulful "Worthy" that is a personal favorite of mine. (You can listen to the entire EP on SoundCloud.)

"Worthy" beautifully spotlights Jacobs' arresting vocals and transparently raw storytelling that will send chills up your spine. "Suddenly the clouds have opened up/And I'm being seen in all of my glory/The time has come for fate to decide if a part of me is even worthy," he aches over an innovative blend of soul and drum 'n bass that is truly riveting. Banks is a massive new talent to keep your eye on. (Thanks to Mason for the heads up.)

May 1, 2013 | Permalink