• Blessing Borode

Reekado Banks Is Just Getting Started

To mark the release of his new EP, Reekado Banks speaks to New Wave about his early influences, his favourite collaboration on the project and more.

It hasn’t been easy to maintain a positive perspective through this turbulent year but for afrobeats superstar, Reekado Banks, he’s managed to find moments of joy that he has now shared with us in the form of a 7 track EP. 2014 saw the release of his first ever official single, featuring Tiwa Savage and throughout the years he has managed to stay relevant because of his ability to grow with the times as well as his persistent work ethic.

Surrounded by his sister and dad who also make music, his earliest influences were found in the gospel genre. He later discovered the sounds of Michael Jackson, Jason Derulo and Justin Beiber, which informs the pop aspect to the music that he makes today. His fruitful journey so far is fueled by his genuine love for the craft above anything else and in turn it has pegged him as one of Afrika’s consistent hit makers. He shares the elements that go into making a hit song, simply boiling it down to a “melody and a message… That way when it is relatable with many and more people, you can guarantee that the song will do wonders.”

It has been a few short weeks since the release of Banks’ highly anticipated EP, titled ‘Off The Record’. Steeped in rich melodies and catchy hooks, the 7 track project is the creative exploration of his Nigerian heritage and identity. He reveals that it is a more mature take on the realities of love and life featuring the likes of Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Mr Eazi, to name a few.

Banks has made the afrobeats scene his very own stomping ground, building a hefty discography of music with a type of quality that exceeds all of our expectations. With years of experience in the studio collaborating and piecing projects together, I was interested to know what it is he enjoys most about the entire process, he shares: “My favorite part would be working on the back end. I've never been involved in anything like that all through my career and now that I'm on my own I've had the opportunity to oversee things and be involved in everything.” Of course with anything you set yourself to do you may come across some challenges on the way but with Banks being a solution-oriented being, when faced with an obstacle he “focuses on working out what the solutions could possibly be” admitting that there’s nothing a little time and money couldn’t fix.

The opening track, ‘Need More’ featuring UK based Afropop singer Kida Kudz and rapper EO is the lead single of the EP and has already attracted one million combined streams, another example of his reach on a global scale. As an artist of his calibre and style he has most likely been in rooms with many other artists and musicians but he reveals that so far Tiwa Savage on the track ‘Speak To Me’ has been his best collaboration so far; “she was the only one that was present with me during the process of recording this EP, every other person I sent the song to them… it was a good time in the studio”. This track is another fast-paced hit; paired with Tiwa’s honey-toned vocals the pair truly compliment each other as they sing about leaving behind past lovers and settling with the one they really want at heart.

This is Banks’ first extended release since his LP in 2016 and more than anything he hopes that listeners will recognise his growth and embrace this change as much as he is. Despite the ever evolving sphere of music, more specifically Afrobeats, he prides himself as an artist that sings about the ‘now’, expressing the importance of focusing on the present. Although he has amassed tonnes of success so far, his journey continues as he feels that there’s still so far to go and he is steady building his empire one song at a time.

Stream the entire EP below!

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