Do you know that feeling when you hear a song, a voice and immediately just go: WOW! Who is that? Well, that’s what happened to me when I first heard Jacob Banks. The british singer who was born in Nigeria is showing the world his talent at the moment. He’s performing at some of the biggest festivals this summer, like SXSW, Lollapalooza or Osheaga. Even the more reason to check him out.

Often you hear that musicians have been playing instruments and singing all their life, starting at a very young age. It took Jacob Banks a bit longer. He started playing the guitar and writing songs at the age of 20. But as most other musicians, he also “earned his stripes” at local open mic nights.

Jacob Banks’ first EP paved the way to success!

The young artist released his first EP “The Monologue” in January 2013. The EP received quite some airplay on radio stations like BBC Radio 1, XFM or 1Xtra – which helped expose him to a lot of people. He ended up touring with artists such as Emeli Sandr or Alicia Keys!

The Boy Who Cried Freedom

Fast forward to the year 2017. Jacob Banks has been signed to Interscope Records and has just released his EP “The Boy Who Cried Freedom” in April. The songs on this EP are very diverse. The song “Chainsmoking” for example is more up-beat with some electronica influences, but also some dark hip-hop beats, while talking about  love, which can also be an addiction, an addiction that is, just like smoking, very hard to just quit and push away from you. His rather deep and raspy voice gives the song the perfect tone. Just the more interesting I find that on the song “Part Time Love”, which is a more slow song, his voice almost sounds smooth. I love how it makes the song sound romantic. A very soulful song that reminds me a bit of Leon Bridges. Like on the mentioned songs, Jacob also shows off his voice and his songwriter abilities on the other songs on the EP.



When reading about Jacob Banks, his cover of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” is mentioned a lot. He recorded this song at one of the Mahagony Session:


Jacob Banks – Keep an eye out for this one!

As mentioned previously, Jacob Banks is on the road quite a bit and has or will be performing at some of the coolest festivals. Unfortunately there is no Swiss date confirmed yet, let’s keep our fingers crossed that this will change in the near future.  UPDATE: there is a Swiss date now! Mark October 23rd in your calenders, he’ll be playing at Mascotte in Zurich. Get your tickets here:

Tickets for Jacob Banks at Mascotte

He will however hit some other European cities too(Amsterdam, Berlin or Barcelona for example) this fall. If you have the chance to go see this guy, do it! It will be worth it. In the meantime, make sure to go check out  his music.

Right now, I’m listening to “Monster” non-stop. I don’t know what it was, I am hooked and can’t stop listening to it. The beats and Jacobs voice blend perfectly together. Avelinos rap fits in really well and gives the song a bit more edge. Have a listen: Jacob Banks – Monster

Go get Jacob Banks‘ music here:

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


Image source (header): Julie Patterson
Image source: Edward T. Cooke