When 27-year-old Jacob Banks' haunting song, "Unknown" was featured in the Season 3 finale of Starz's hit series, Power, the British-Nigerian singer-songwriter finally began to receive the viral attention his amazing voice has long deserved.
His family relocated from Nigeria to Birmingham, England when he was 13, and it was in Birmingham that he began his music career. The singer won various regional competitions, including the 2012 MOBO UnSung regional competition.
Over time, he gained popularity in the global industry, with his songs continually featured in various popular TV shows, such as Suits, Black Lightning and Lucifer. He even recently got tapped to record a song — "In The Name Of Love" — for the Denzel Washington-led action film, Equalizer 2.
About including Banks' song in the soundtrack for Equalizer 2, the film's director, Antoine Fuqua said:
"'In the Name of Love' has a beautiful and important message about love that reflects exactly what our world needs to hear today.
The lyrics cut deep and Jacob’s vocals are unmatched. It gives me great pride to have this song included on the soundtrack. I know audiences will be moved by its emotional impact in the film."
Banks did not grow up in a musical home, instead, he found inspiration from the outside world. Although his friends in Birmingham pushed him to pursue music as a career, he still considers his Nigerian background a major influence in his music.
Speaking to Highsnobiety about how his Nigerian background influences his taste in music, Banks said:
"I think my Nigerian background affects how I perceive tempo. I like more tribal energies as opposed to a full dancefloor environment.
So I like to have stuff that has more rhythm as opposed to tempo. That side of me really shows in more uptempo songs like 'Monster'."
Mixing soul, pop, electronic and r&b, this versatile singer has captured the attention of various artists, including Emilé Sandé, who he supported during her 2013 spring tour. He also performed at Coachella 2018 alongside Beyoncé, SZA, The Weeknd and many more.
We are not sure when we'll be getting the promised debut album, The Village from this gifted soul singer with a ridiculously good voice, however, we can keep playing his 2017 electronic-soul EP, The Boy Who Cried Freedom on a loop till we finally do.