With the voice of an angel and opening performances for the likes of Emeli Sandé, Sam Smith and Alicia Keys, Jacob Banks has caught (and held on to) our attention as of late.
The 24-year-old London based singer-songwriter mastered the acoustic guitar to compliment his soulful sound in a mere six months. Listeners will find Banks’ sheer versatility apparent, whether it’s on an emotional R&B track or a more fast-paced, retro-feeling, boogie smash. Nonetheless, Banks’ take on modern R&B remains true to his original influences of timeless soul from Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield.
Banks has made waves with tracks like “Kids on The Corner,” “Worthy” and “Monster.” In 2012, he claimed first place at the 2012 MOBO UnSung regional competition in Birmingham and the Adidas “Are You In” music competition, winning prized studio mentoring time with British hip-hop artist, Plan B. In 2014, he became the first unsigned act to ever appear on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
His latest single, “Unholy Water,” is the first track taken from his forthcoming EP titled The Boy Who Cried Freedom, set for a Spring 2017 release. He rose to popularity with his powerful hit “Monster 2.0,” which surpassed over 1 million streams in its first week of release.
Banks is currently supporting fellow Ones To Watch artist LÉON on her North American tour, and will hit the road again in the Spring to play a string of festivals including Firefly, SXSW and Okechobee, among others.
Listen to a sample of Jacob Banks’ divine sound below, and watch out for The Boy Who Cried Freedom this Spring.