2014 was a pivotal time in pop music. More and more female artists are now taking center stage and are having a stronger voice than ever. It’s no longer just a handful of strong female musicians in pop topping the charts and a plethora of men in multiple genres. In the last year, artists like Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, and Jessie J have been making some noise, and rightfully so with their pipes. But out of all of the ladies topping the charts, alternative pop artist, BANKS, has slid by as becoming the most blogged-about artist of 2014.
In 2014, BANKS (a.k.a JIllian Rose Banks) started off the year ranking #3 for BBC’s Sound of 2014, was nominated for MTV’s Brand New Nominee, and was named an “Artist to Watch” by FoxWeekly. By the fall, BANKS officially released her debut album on September 5th with a solid debut of 25,000 sales in her first week, charting in the top 20 in several countries. At the time of publication, BANKS has also surpassed 50 million plays on Spotify.
Besides blogs, BANKS’ sound has caught the ears of many prevalent publications gaining praise from everyone from Billboard, The New York Times, Paste Magazine, and Glamour. But while she might be the talk of the town, her story is more traditional than most burgeoning artists of the 2010s. While many young artists take to social media to develop a diehard fan base, she has allowed all of her social media pages to be in her management’s hands, excluding her Instagram page. However, while she may interacting with every fan willing to leave a comment or send a tweet, you can still find her REAL phone number on her Facebook page and she has invited fans to contact her, a more personal move than most artists would ever dare to do.
BANKS’ sound has been described as dark R&B, but you can also hear influences of trip-hop and alternative. Comparisons have been made to her previous tour partner, The Weeknd, as well as Aaliyah and Erykah Badu. However, BANKS has noted Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill, and Massive Attack have been big influences. Her admiration for Fiona Apple is evident in her hit “Beggin for Thread.” BANKS has released eight singles from her debut album, Goddess, the most recent being “Alibi.” If BANKS has already taken over the blogging world, she’ll no doubt take over mainstream radio in the upcoming year.