Without Ms Banks and her hit single "Snack", most of us would have been stuck for Instagram outfit captions throughout most of 2019 (#lookinglikeasnack). The party banger became the slogan and anthem for women "feeling themselves" practically overnight, and further propelled Ms Banks into the mainstream spotlight. During lockdown, she's helping keep a similar energy. Picking up where AJ Tracey left off, Ms Banks is taking over Apple's Agenda Radioevery Tuesday night from now till mid July, playing the biggest and best homegrown tracks and talents. "Good vibes, laughs, banter and great music," she promises me over the phone.
The show couldn't be in better hands. After all, when it comes to the UK music scene, Ms Bank knows her stuff, and has been writing music from the age of 11. Now, from her legendary freestyles to collabs with the likes of Stefflon Don, JME, and Stormzy, she's considered one of the most influential talents on the British music circuit.
Available on Apple Music at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Banks will host the best of British talent, too. Last week (June 16) she welcomed "I Dunno" singer Tion Wayne. This week? You'll have to tune in to find out. Ahead of her next set, we talked about her music influences, the tracks she can't wait to hear in the club post-lockdown, and the albums giving her life right now...
What makes a song, or music, good?
"A song could be good, but it doesn't move you. Certain songs have that vibe that just moves you. When I naturally get moved by a song, it's something I can't put my finger on. I like songs with lots of energy, and songs I can relate to. I just like when artists are honest and stand in their truth, just give it to 'em raw."
Tell me about the music legends you most admire
"Ms Dynamite is a pioneer. She had a nice balance of always being herself and being free; she's consistent. And she was always conscious, always had a message. I feel like her message will live on in the future. Not only is it relevant now but will be in 10 years time and in 30 years. That's the kind of legacy that's inspiring, that's the kind of legacy that'll live on.
"I really love Estelle; she's dope. Wiley. Dizzee. They're all important to me, and their success is too. It's one thing to believe, but it's another thing to see the dream play out in front of your eyes. Seeing them have major influence, seeing them come back time and time again, having major hits, it's really inspiring. It gives you that extra confidence and faith that you can do it too."
What about up-and-coming talents?
"There's so many people doing great things right now. J Hus is killing it, but also Yxng Bane, Unknown T. There's also lot of women killing it [too]: Dunya, IAMDDB, Alicai Harley."
Who would you say is your fave British female talent?
"Hmm... this is hard. I would say Samantha Mumba, Estelle, Jamelia, Stefflon Don and Dua Lipa."
What about your top lockdown hits?
"I've been loving a lot of drill songs at the moment. I love Ill Blu's "Dumpa" featuring M24 & Unknown T. I love "I Dunno" by Tion Wayne. I've also been taking a lot of albums in: I listened to Doja Cat Hot Pink, I was listening to Teyana Taylor's new album and Chloe x Halle's Ungodly Hour is an amazing album, too."
What is the first party track you want to hear post-lockdown?
"I need Tion Wayne's "I Dunno". I need to hear it in the club! That's my tune! It's going to be lit. Of my own, definitely "Snack". It is still my party banger."
What is your guilty pleasure tune?
"Probably Florence and Machine's "Shake It Off". Actually Florence and Machine should be in my Top 5 British female talent too. She's amazing."
What is that one song you wish you had written?
"Ms Dynamite's "Envy". I wish this could have been my track! I know all the words like it is my tune."
We're all looking forward to the end of lockdown, but what are you most looking forward to?
"I have a new single coming soon and I can't wait for you all to hear. So keep your eyes peeled."