When Los Angeles singer Banks first appeared on the scene in early 2013 with a moody blend of sultry electronic R&B, her modest Facebook profile included a charming statement that read: “Hello world! I like making connections outside of a computer screen… If you ever want to talk call me - (323) 363-2658.”
Given her stunning appearance and seductive aesthetic, it’s not hard to imagine all the creepy messages that quickly bombarded the young artist’s phone. Unsurprisingly, the line went dead a few months later as she emerged as one of the year’s most promising new vocalists, racking up millions of plays on her SoundCloud account. Still, the tone was set: She’s approachable.
Layering vulnerable lyricism over sensual electronic production from some of the genre’s biggest names (including Jamie Woon and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs), Banks has managed to remain relatable despite a growing public persona.
In the wake of a new breed of R&B artists—like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd (whose 2013 North American tour she opened for)—who aren’t afraid to bare their insecurities on record, Banks provides a fresh female perspective to the equation. The obvious move would have been to play up her powerful singing voice and good looks to become the next flawless female pop superstar. The far more interesting route is exposing the flaws and human emotions that exist behind that exterior.
In support of her debut album Goddess (in stores on September 9), Banks will play a sold-out Doug Fir show on Monday, May 26 following a 7:25-8:10pm set at Sasquatch in the El Chupacabra tent at the Gorge Amphitheatre on Sunday, May 25.