Jacob Banks In Conversation With FAULT Magazine

Jacob Banks X FAULT Magazine

Jacob Banks interview

Words: Miles Holder

We first met Jacob Banks in 2018 for our photoshoot and interview where we discussed his contributions to contemporary blues music. Since then, Jacob has gone on to release a string of singles and collaborations, while also taking time to perfect and fine-tune his artistry.

On the back of his newly released single ‘Devil That I Know’ we once again caught up with Jacob to discuss his progression, new music and of course, his FAULTs.

‘Blame’ has proven such a runaway hit. When you have a voice as unique as yours, is it hard to find other vocalists that blend, as well as Grace’s did?

Jacob Banks: It was Grace’s idea! I think that it’s hard to find a voice that compliments well. I think you can always jump on a song with anyone but it’s hard to find voices that compliment each other’s well and I believe Grace compliments mine well and I hope mine compliments hers well. I’m really proud of what we were able to make. 

‘Devil That I Know’ is lighter in production than many of your previous singles. Does the tenderness mimic your headspace during the writing process?

Jacob Banks: Yeah, I think it was just the best way to get the story across. I just believe that the way it was written was to reflect the story that I was trying to tell. To me, anyway, it wouldn’t have made sense to come at it from a harsher point of view or from a louder point of view. 

Jacob Banks interview

What’s something new you’ve learned about yourself this year?

Jacob Banks: I’ve learned that I have put up with a lot of things that I don’t necessarily agree with. I’ve put up with a lot of old lessons. Say for example, growing up we’ve always been told that ‘opposites attract’, and that’s such an umbrella statement because it insinuates that you should power through struggle of any kind and I just disagree with that. I don’t think opposites do attract. I think they should spend time with people who are like-minded. I think they can be different on some level but I’m not friends with anyone who’s an opposite for me, so why would I entertain a partner who was an opposite for me? It makes no fucking sense. 

I just realised a bunch of shit that we’ve been taught growing up is wack and I just disagree with all of it. We really romanticise this idea that love should be difficult – ‘if it’s hard then it’s good’. But that sounds trash! Why would I ever want that? So that’s what I’ve learned. A bunch of lessons that we’ve been taught just don’t make any sense to me. 

You really take time to perfect each of your releases. Do you ever feel pressure to match the music industry’s fast pace?

Jacob Banks: No. I don’t really consider myself a part of the music industry, so to speak. I’m just doing my ting out here with my people, and when I’m ready, I’m ready. I also don’t feel the pressure. My label doesn’t push me to do anything. I don’t think my audience pushes me. I think people just understand that I have a duty, to tell the truth and I have to live and I have to go find new stories, they don’t just fall out the sky. I have to allow myself to feel so I can come back with these stories. 

What’s something you’ve done to protect your mental health this year?

Jacob Banks: I’ve tried to always make time for the other versions of me. I think what’s been really difficult for a lot of people is that people – since the dawn of time – have almost exclusively only identified themselves by the jobs that they do. So it’s like ‘Hi I’m James, I’m an accountant’, and that’s how you identify yourself. A lot of people are finding it mad that you can’t do your job as well as you used to or you can’t have those after-work drinks. Who are you outside of your job? Who are you outside of your profession? So I’ve really tried to use this time to nurture all the other versions of me. The version of me that likes to watch anime, the version of me that likes to game, the version of me that likes sports. I’ve really spent time with all those other versions of me. And making sure all the sides of me and all my loves and interests are watered just as much as I water the version of me that makes music. So giving every version of me an equal amount of time based on how much value they place on my life, and that’s really how to stay sane. I feel fortunate to be someone who likes to be at home anyway.  

Also, understanding that this is happening to everyone. I think it feels like it’s only happening to us because we’re in the centre of our universe but everyone’s going through the same thing. The best way to feel good is to make someone else feel good. 

Jacob Banks interview

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Jacob Banks: I don’t know man, I don’t want to get my hopes up. I just wanna make it! Let’s just get there and we’ll see what’s up.

What is your FAULT?

Jacob Banks: My FAULT is that I’m too fly. I’m working on it…