OAKLAND, CA – J Banks is the type of artist who is here to break away from the norm. In an industry that he feels like has lost itself and become overrun by followers, copycats and the search for the next big thing, this R&B artist from Oakland, California is the kind of polished performer with the complete package. His silky smooth vocals, business savvy and an unrelenting drive all combine into an artist who’s making well-rounded, quality music and hit records.
His new album is a 20-song, self-titled project under the label Freemixx Mackevelli. Distributed by Empire Distribution, it’s an album that combines hip-hop and R&B, fusing soul with the Bay Area “hood” kind of feel.
“It’s got a trap and soul kind of feel,” J Banks said. “It’s upbeat, but it has stories of heartbreak and things I’ve been through. It also has some dope features, with E-40, Kool John and Nef The Pharaoh. All of the songs tell the story of an up-and-coming artist and my personal life.”
The first single off the album is called “Give It Up (feat. Lil Blood).” He said it’s a fairly straightforward song about a guy who gets a call from his girl and announces to his friends that he’s going to go home and have a good time. After that he goes to the studio to lay down some tracks, all the while bragging about how much of a good night he had.
The single is currently available for streaming and purchase on Spotify, Apple Music, itunes and Google Play, as well as all other digital media outlets.
J Banks said he’s proud of this single and the new album because it’s a testament to how far he’s come as a professional musician. He said he remembers back to the days when he plays AAU basketball as a teenager, and he would sometimes sing, despite being worried that his teammates might think he was “soft.” But they encouraged him by applauding his soulful singing, and he took that encouragement and turned it into a pursuit of professional music.
“I started studying other artists and taking classes on creative writing,” he said. “I was trying to get as much knowledge as I could from the people in the industry and older songwriters. I was learning and listening to people like Usher and Donnell Jones and Dave Hollister, and even older people like Luther Vandross. I was studying lyrical content and ways to go about doing things, and I adopted that and used it for my own music.”
“Today I want to try to take a different approach to what’s going on in the music industry. I want to tell stories that haven’t been told before. I want to touch on issues that haven’t been touched on before. And at the end of the day I want my music to encourage people to never give up and never get discouraged. Stay true to yourself. Always be there for that person you’re with. That’s what life is all about. You can have all the money in the world, but you have to have that foundation otherwise what’s the point of living. Trust, loyalty, being faithful, believing in something – you have to have that foundation to maintain whatever you have. If you don’t stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”
To listen to J Banks’ music, or to follow him on social media, please visit the following links:
Soundcloud : jbanks4real
Itunes: Give It Up
Spotify: Give It Up
Google Play: Give It Up