Interview: Jacob Banks in Zurich, 24.10.2017

After selling out Mascotte on Monday 23.10., the British singer Jacob Banks took some time to sit down with us and have a little chat. Thanks to Universal Music Switzerland for making this happen.  

In case you haven’t yet heard of Jacob Banks, don’t worry, we got you! A few months ago we’ve already posted about him. Here’s the article: Jacob Banks – A Voice To Remember.  Also, keep reading here, you might just find out some more things about him.

Interview with Jacob Banks

Your show yesterday was great! Loved the energy you and your band had on stage. How was it for you? You’ve been to quite a few places on your tour, how’s the Swiss audience compared to others?
Uhm, I always have my eyes closed… But I think if you have a good time internally, on stage, the crowd will have a good time too. Everyone just wants to have a good time. That’s what I try to do, just have a good time and hope that people can join us. But I won’t force anyone. But it’s always different, sometimes there’s a language barrier, sometimes there isn’t. That’s the main difference.

You were wearing a Justin Bieber shirt yesterday… Are you a fan?
Yeah!

Is that someone you’d like to collaborate with at some point?
I don’t know, I’m not sure our worlds would collide like that, but I was buying some stuff and saw that t-shirt and was like, I’m gonna wear this t-shirt for Zurich.

I’ve read that you’ve had a not so pleasant experience with Atlantic Records… I’m sure for a musician a record deal is usually a big deal and it would need guts to get out of a contract like that. Any advice for young artists out there, on how to not make the same “mistake”?
Shit’s gonna happen regardless.  No advice can prevent that from happening. I think the best way is that when shit happens, don’t let that define you. It’s just one person, maybe 2. If someone from the label want’s to fuck with you, that’s just one human being. I could give you a million advices; something else will get you in the end. It’s just the way it is. If it does happen to you, just go with it. I look at bad luck as ball that gets passed around and at some point it’s just your turn to hold it for a while and then you give it to the next person and it’s ok. But just understand at that moment, it doesn’t define you. You are whatever you choose to be.


OK… That’s good advice after all. Also, something good did come out of this whole thing. You wrote “Monster” right after the thing with Atlantic Records, right?
Yes exactly, that song was about that process. I found my sound through that process actually. And you know, I’m still cool with everyone there, there’s no bad energy. They didn’t do anything wrong. To the best of their knowledge, they just saw me as something different. So we just didn’t align. When I asked them to get out of the deal, they let me go quite easily.

You just sold out a show at the Village Underground and even the additional show later this year at Koko in London. That’s quite a big deal for artists in the UK. Is there another venue on your bucketlist you’d like to play sometime?
Koko usually takes a while to play and sell out. It’s a place that most people do after releasing albums and stuff. So for that to happen… I really don’t even know how that happened to be honest. I’m convinced it’s probably one person that just bought all the tickets and was like: “yeah, private show!”

Venue bucketlist. I’d love to play Royal Albert Hall. I’ve performed there before, but under different circumstances. It was for BBC Proms. They turned a couple of my songs into orchestral pieces. But I’d obviously like to play that venue again, as my own show.

You did some big festivals recently. SXSW, Osheaga, Lollappalooza etc. Even if both are very different, what do you prefer, festivals or “normal” concerts?
I really like both, because they’re quite different. I get to wear different “hats”. Like at festivals, it’s just a rave, everyone is just out to have a good time, they don’t want to be depressed or think about their exes (laughs a little), which is good. My own shows are very much like I plan a journey of emotions. It’s not too much of each though. If I had to choose one to do for the rest of my life, it would be my own shows.

I read that you once said that you think it’s your job to help people get through the day a little easier. Who do you turn to, to make your day easier?
I listen to lots of afro beats. That’s kind of my thing. Just to help me get through the day. Good energy, good vibes and up-tempo. There’s an artist from the UK called Maleek Berry, another one called Moelogo  or Wizkid. I just love afro beats, it puts me in a good spirit.

You’ve been on tour for a while no, you probably had to give quite a few interviews too. What’s one question you haven’t been asked but would love to answer or say something about?
Uhm, no not really. Everything’s fine. Interviews is your part and I’m just having a conversation with you. There’s nothing jumping out at me – yet.

Before interviewing someone, we usually ask our followers if they have any question for that particular artist. We did get a few questions for you.

Fan Questions for Jacob Banks

Ramona: Have you ever considered doing a live performance through social media, for your fans that weren’t able to come to a show?
Yeah, gladly. I would have asked someone to do it for this whole run that we’ve done now. But reception is poor. I’d love to do it too. I think music should be free, honestly! We played a show in Stockholm I think it was, which was first come, first serve. 500 people got turned away. It broke my heart and I really tried to just play another show after the first one, so everyone would have been able to come see it. So much is denied from the world, some people can’t get a break and get a little freedom. Music shouldn’t be denied from people. Anyway I can help for more people to come, I’ll do it!

Sabine: Is there a song out there (not one of your own), that you would have loved to have written?

I would have loved to have written “Magic” by Coldplay

Rahel: Which song are you most proud of and why? 

It must be “Monster” because it was the first super left song I’ve written. I think everything else wasn’t quite as left. I remember mapping it out in my head and I was convinced it was going to work. There’s something special about hearing a song in your head and then watching it come to life. It activated another side of my brain to hear music differently…

Actually, fun fact, I wrote Monster to this song playing right now (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” is playing in the background)

At the end of every interview we ask the artist to finish some sentences we’ve started. Are you ready?

Finish the sentences! 

Someday I will go to… St. Lucia
I would never… be closed to anything, like, I never have a closed mind to anything.
Getting on a boat means… I might die, because I can’t swim.
Jerk chicken makes me feel… HOME! I’m headed back to London tonight, so I’ll stock up on my chicken then.

Great! Thanks a lot for sitting down with us and taking the time!
Thank you!

So with the interview coming to an end, I just want to tell you again, check out Jacob Banks! He’s an amazing artist with a voice that will blow you away! We’ll keep an eye out for any future shows and will let you know when he’ll be back!

In the meantime, make sure to go follow Jacob Banks on his socials and get his music here:

Jacob Banks on Spotify
Jacob Banks on iTunes
Jacob Banks on Google Play

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