My Celebrity Life

Jacob Banks wants fans to take a sense of unity from BLM-inspired new EP: ‘The world doesn’t move unless we say so’

Jacob Banks has spoken out about his new EP, arriving on Friday, which was inspired by the collective experiences the world has faced in the past 12 months.

The singer-songwriter, 29, recently revealed his latest music video for Parade, which he was compelled to write after experiencing the Black Lives Matter protests in London following the death of George Floyd.

He told that while he felt hopeful at the coming together of the youth to effect change, he was also saddened that equal rights for all are still something the world has to fight to achieve.

‘That song came about after I went to a march for BLM in London. I was really happy to feel a sense of camaraderie and togetherness and all that good stuff, but I felt disappointed that this is how we have to spend our days, across the board for any group of people who are disenfranchised, anyone who feels unseen,’ he says.

‘I think it’s a shame that people who feel unseen have to spend their days asking to be seen when they still have to deal with regular life issues, like there is still poverty, there’s still a pandemic, they’re still trying to find love and find happiness.

‘You don’t even get to have those battles, because you’re so busy trying to matter. But the world doesn’t move unless we say so and there’s more of us than there isn’t, so I found power in that discourse. We will keep fighting.’

The video features an epic performance from Koji Radical, someone who has been a friend of Jacob’s for years.

He explains: ‘I used to be a choreographer many moons ago, so it was nice to be able to get that side of my head working again.

‘For me, it’s always about the music and what best serves that music. I know, the cliche thing is for the artist to be everything but I already get to be so many things. I get to direct my own videos and write my own songs so I like to make room for who I believe to do the best job and Koji’s been a friend for years.

‘I feel like the level of performance that he has and that this song needed, I would have just held it back.

‘I’m in this job to express myself, so that doesn’t stop at being a musician. Music is just one way of expressing and I feel like there’s several ways to go about that.

My Celebrity Life –
Jacob felt hopeful but saddened that protests for Black Lives Matter are still needed in this day and age (Picture: Jacob Banks)

‘I think people can come for different reasons – they either like the music or the production, or they can come because they like the video. I just want people to feel something and have a conversation with their loved ones.’

Jacob’s new EP, the name of which he is yet to reveal, arrives on Friday and the artist found recording it in lockdown to be a welcome new experience.

The new way of working meant he connected with creatives around the world, utilising a Belgian artist to create the artwork and using a producer based in Australia.

He says: ‘It was a lot less scary than I thought. I’ve been making music for over a decade but I never had a home studio because I just believed that I would have no self -control and I’d just live in there.

‘It turns out that I actually go in there a lot less than I ever did any studio because it’s in my spare room and I only have to go in there when I have an idea, compared to session after session and just writing because you feel like you should be writing.

‘I only really turn on my laptop when inspiration hits and I get excited all over again to believe in this idea. My friends helped me out and it’s been fun, I really enjoyed it.

‘I like to make bodies of work to commemorate a time of my life and I am glad that I have this body of work to remember time in the pandemic, when all we had was each other.’

Marking the collecting experiences we have all been through during the coronavirus pandemic was important to Jacob, and the EP will serve as a reminder of his own feelings throughout the time.

He hopes his fans – who he calls ‘friends’ – will find solidarity in the record, adding: ‘I hope they know that they’re not alone.

‘I always want people to know what whatever you’re going through emotionally, in a world of several billion people, everyone tends to somehow still feel alone which is kind of sad because you’re not.

‘I just want to remind people that whatever you’re feeling during this time, we are all here, everyone’s feeling the same.’

‘Parade’ is out now and Jacob Banks’s new EP arrives this Friday.

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