Toronto has brought to us two superstars in recent memory — Drake and The Weeknd. But those who have followed the music scene in the city know that there is plenty of talent waiting to be explored and tapped.
Here at HHNM, we receive dozens of submissions every day but there are some which stand out for some reason or another. We did a special Twitter edition of Saturday Spotlight back in August where we invited new artists to tweet us their music for a chance to be featured in the segment. One of them was Banco who impressed us with his song ‘Rollin In’.
Today, HHNM is premiering the Toronto (Scarborough to be exact) artist’s full mixtape titled Eastside Memoirs. Similar to how Canadian artists like The Weeknd and Nav started their campaign, Banco also chooses to keep his identity mysterious so it’s hard to find much about him on the internet. We did however, catch up with him for a bit in order to know him better.
Who are you?
I’m a creative, a thinker, a sneaker enthusiast, a footy fanatic, a family man. Be it music, fashion or my overall outlook on the world.. I feel that innovation and creativity is the key to progress, so I try and continue to learn, improve and expand my mind. I tend to be a laid back non-chalant type of individual, never cared to stress what’s out of my control. I don’t try to align myself with the masses…I simply do what I enjoy, wear what I think looks good, make music that resonates and represents my views and experiences.
Describe your debut project Eastside Memoirs.
The project Eastside Memoirs is a collection of vibes that I’ve curated and organized to give the listener a ride through my ends. Different feelings, emotions and overall sentiments are being expressed as the tape progresses through a series of moments and memories…The Memoirs…overall I wanted to focus on lyrical content and wordplay as well. I think rap is an art that needs to be nourished with verses and songs that are crafty and well thought out. Everything I write I feel is personal but there is always something for the average person to relate to as well.
Why have you kept your identity mysterious?
I’ve kept my identity somewhat mysterious to really put the focus on the music. I’d like any fan to hear my music and that remain the sole biggest reason they choose to continue to listen, rather than them being fond of my image and other aspects not connected to the art. I’m still really into fashion though, I just want the music to be the topic of conversation when my name is brought up.
Who are your biggest influences?
Rap wise, I was always listening to a lot of Eminem, Common, Nas, Jay Z, the Lox and Joe Budden. Branched into the early Drake and Lil Wayne era too. I love listening to that lyrical wordplay music. Also listen to R&B quite a bit from Joe & 112 to Usher & Beyonce; I listen to a lot of artists, I enjoy different vibes and energies. I’ve even made some new Dancehall inspired tracks recently that I think people will really mess with. To be true, I feel like I get influences from all the music I listen to but I try to project the sound that comes natural to me.
It’s rare to find a newcomer with such polished production, sounds and rhymes on their first project. So go ahead and give Eastside Memoirs a spin below.