photographer / John Michael Fulton story / Jordan Blakeman
styling / Maya Krispin set designer / Kelly Fondry
stylist assistants / Kat Banas, Kara Kartchner, & Flip Barth
makeup / Rachel Goodwin @The Magnet Agency hair / Tony Chavez @Tracey Mattingly
1st assistant / Alex Rico digital tech / Jeff Bermudez
retouching / Jeff Bermudez & John Michael Fulton
SHOT AT MACK SENNETT STUDIOS
By now it feels like most of us have played witness to the meteoric rise of Banks. From a shrouded, faceless enigmatic voice to performing center-stage at fashion’s chicest parties and accumulating awards the world over, the songstress is suddenly everywhere. Many got their first taste of the creations she composes last winter when her hauntingly tragic single ”Waiting Game” found itself featured in a Victoria’s Secret holiday commercial. Her voice croons amid a near-hymnal introduction, ”I’m thinking it over, the way you make me feel all sexy but it’s causing me shame. I wanna lean on your shoulder… I wish I was in love but I don’t wanna cause any pain.” She is blunt with her message but leaves the specifics to the imagination. The Los Angeles native rarely feels the need to explain herself when asked and while we don’t know the individual stories that fuel her expressions we understand each emotion within her song. We can feel the pain, the anger, the longing and the joy, as if her notes slipped their way into our bloodstream.
Her first foray into music came in the form of a toy keyboard she was given at fifteen while her parents were undergoing official divorce proceedings. She would lock herself in her room, playing around with the keys until eventually something sounded right. Tinkering with sounds turned into experimenting with melody and eventually she began forming songs as a coping mechanism to release her day-to-day frustrations in life. ”It all just kind of came together without thinking,” Banks reminisces on the process during her fledgling musical days. She didn’t formally know what she was playing, yet she paved her own pathway and soldiered on, writing songs throughout her teenage years and into adulthood. ”There were bits and pieces of melodies and there were some full songs. I didn’t really give myself any rules or anything. If I felt like a mood or idea was expressed just with a little riff, whether it was five minutes, fifteen minutes, or an hour then that was that. I left it there but sometime it got to the point where I was really making full songs. My writing developed.”
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turtleneck, Prabal Gurung.
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