CULTED SOUNDS: BRANDON BANKS TALKS RESPECTING THE PROCESS & HONING THE CRAFT OVER ALL ELSE
Brandon Banks is the artist broadcasting the dreamy sounds of California to the world. Debuting a unique, soulful alt-r&b sound that has earnt him industry accolades and a global following, he’s also a talented songwriter who has co-penned Charlotte Day Wilson’s Mountains, and thus inadvertently, Drake’s Fair Trade.
After releasing previous singles with NFT launches, the artist is soon set to release his EP ‘Natural Progressions’, which blends dream-like melodies with vast musical arrangements that speak to the warm, long California Summer. We caught up with him to discuss songwriting inspiration and music as a life force for him.
You’re a strong lyricist- where do you find inspiration for your songwriting, and how do you know you’ve hit the mark lyrically for each project?
My songwriting inspiration comes from my day to day life – most of my songs are very personal so I try to just relay my raw thoughts onto the page. I’m always back and forth on what the right thing to say on a song is, so I can’t say when I “know” a song lyrically is hitting the mark, I just make sure I’m being as honest as possible, and that the thought is concise, then I go from there.
From that, what’s your favourite lyric you’ve written, and why?
Honestly I couldn’t tell you a single one because all these songs are my babies – but Lucy & Wonderland are up there in my top 5 because of the lyricism, melodies and groove.
How did you get to music as a career?
Music to me is my life force, if I never made this my profession I would still be singing, writing and playing guitar. It saved my life so it’s only right that I dedicate myself to it fully.
What advice would you give to emerging artists – or something you wish you’d known starting out?
The advice I’d give to emerging artists is to focus on your skill set as much as you can, networking and marketing opportunities will come and go but skill is forever. You gotta have qualities about yourself that can’t be replicated, so respect the process and hone the craft then everything else works itself out ya know? Don’t wait on anyone!
If you had to describe your sound in the form of a headline, what would this be?
Immersive Soul Music.
Natural Progressions is coming out very soon – what were your biggest challenges and joys in this project?
My biggest challenges with this new project have been just pushing myself to try new things, and keep the honesty flowing while progressing my sound lyrically and melodically. Hard to keep myself in that uncomfortable place of experimenting instead of staying with what I know.
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Where’s your personal Wonderland?
My personal wonderland is the forest. I try to get out there and be still and think as much as I can. I feel like nature runs on the same frequency as Heaven.
Can you walk us through a typical day-in-the-life (if there is one) when creating music?
Typical day in the life for me – I’m up by 5:30am – in the gym by 6:30 – then I go home, make a smoothie, feed my cat, water my plants. Read for 30 minutes, then I work on music until my brain shuts my body down at some point and eat dinner sometime in between – also lots of water all day ju feel.