A new segment that showcases unheard talents, CelebMix will be releasing two articles per week highlighting some of the best musicians on the planet. These artists may be known to some, however, we believe they should be known by all!
Exploring the world of music is one of the most exciting experiences a person can have. It gives individuals the opportunity to discover new genres and styles of music they wouldn’t typically listen to. A number of the best musicians across the world are often unheard or disregarded by many, as the same five hit songs play on repeat on local radio. Be prepared as we take you on a journey showcasing artists with incredible voices, elaborate styles, outstanding music videos and catchy lyrics that will leave you wanting more.
Be sure to keep an eye out for future articles, as you will soon find yourself a new favorite musician! Up first, BANKS.
Banks, 28, is an artist on the rise across the globe, occupying a sleek electronic R&B sound mixed with vulnerable, raw lyrics. The California native has been compared to popular musicians such as Ellie Goulding, Aaliyah and even The Weeknd, with whom she toured with in both 2013 and 2014.
After DJ Zane Lowe played a track called ‘Before I Ever Met You’ on BBC Radio 1 back in 2013, Banks was relatively unknown in the music industry. By the end of the year, she released two EP’s, ‘Fall Over’ and ‘London’, which received positive acclaim from critics. This led to the singer-songwriter being included in many ‘Acts to Watch in 2014’ lists from well-known music companies (iTunes, Shazam, Spotify and Fuse). Banks also received nominations from both the BBC and MTV. She was nominated for a Sound of 2014 award by the BBC, in which she placed third, and a Brand New Nominee by MTV. From such acclaim came appearances in high profile music festivals in 2014, such as Coachella, Bonnaroo and Open’er Festival, before an eventual television debut performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The 28-year-old’s music videos, which link hand in hand with her unique style, have been celebrated by journalists and critics, whom fell in love with the artistic creativity that was involved within each. The video for “Brain”, which is set mainly in black and white, portrays a brooding, overcast mood. The star can be found hiding underneath a veil at points, while in others she stares directly down the camera as blotches of red light flash across her face. Just like the song, the video is vulnerable, intimidating and smoldering.
By the end of 2014, Banks was ready to release her debut studio album, ‘Goddess’. The album features 14 tracks and spawned singles ‘Warm Water’, ‘Brain’, ‘Drowning’ and ‘Beggin for Thread’, the latter of which reached No. 11 on the US Alternative Songs chart. The gloomy, raw and emotional tracks helped the album to land at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 20 on the UK Albums Chart, with the album landing on several ‘Top Albums of 2014’ lists. Critics praised Banks’s lyrics and edgy vocals on her debut, with Cady Drell of Rolling Stone stating:
“More than just an Internet sensation with on-the-nose Nineties R&B throwback hooks, L.A. native Jillian Banks can go from gloomy trance cuts one minute to lyrically explicit soul jams the next—all with an impressively modern gothic touch.”
Now in 2016, there is just over one month left before Banks releases her sophomore album, ‘The Alter’. Three songs from the upcoming album have already been released (‘Better’, ‘F*** With Myself’ and ‘Gemini Feed’), all providing listeners with more heartfelt lyrics, devastating concepts and insane R&B productions. The song ‘F*** With Myself’, along with its music video, was met with universal critical acclaim upon release, who praised the star for her stand-out songwriting and delivery of emotion on the track. Banks said of the song in an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1:
“There’s so many meanings to it. It could be like, ‘I f*** with myself’, like, ‘I mess with myself more than anybody else.’ It could be, ‘I f*** with myself’, kind of like, ‘I’m feeling myself.’ It means a lot of different things that I think a lot of people can relate to.”
We here at CelebMix cannot wait for the new album!
Do you listen to any unknown/rising musicians from across the world that deserve more praise for their work? Let us know by tweeting @CelebMix on Twitter and your favorite artists could be featured next!