Born in Nigeria and growing up in England, singer/songwriter Jacob Banks crafts his songs around his rich baritone voice, drawing from blues, R&B, reggae, and elements of hip-hop for his multi-layered productions. Following a series of well-received EPs and song placements in games, film, and television, Banks released his first proper studio album with 2018's Village, released on Interscope Records.
While growing up, Jacob Banks was encouraged by a close friend to pursue a career in music, following the many local gigs that the pair attended. When his friend passed away in 2011, Banks sang at his funeral and subsequently focused his attention on ensuring that a wide audience heard his music. In 2012, a regional category at the MOBO UnSung awards was only one of a handful of competitions that he was successful in that year. By the time 2013 came around, he had already recorded his debut EP and supported East London hip-hop artist Plan B. Following the release of the EP The Monologue in January, he began to receive regular airplay on mainstream U.K. radio and was also asked to support Emeli Sandé on her spring 2013 tour. By the summer his soulful vocals appeared on Wretch 32's minor U.K. hit "Doing OK," and the pair planned to work on further material. Two years later, he delivered the EP The Paradox, which included the single "Monster," featuring Avelino. Also around this time, Banks guested on several tracks, appearing on Sigma's "Redemption" and SeeB's "What Do You Love?" In 2016, he released the single "Monster 2.0," featuring Boogie. The following year, he returned with the Boy Who Cried Freedom EP. This release included the single "Unholy War" which would be used in numerous games and television shows as well as "Chainsmoking," which would reappear on debut studio album Village when it arrived in late 2018. The high-definition production of the album captured the full scope of Banks' many muses and included guest appearances from Bibi Bourelly, Seinabo Sey, and NANA. ~ James Wilkinson