June 16, 1988

Banks Artistfacts

  • California native Jillian Rose Banks turned to music at the age of 15 when a friend gave her a keyboard. The gift was timely as the teen was having a difficult time at home due to her parents fighting. "You don't have the tools at that age to really know how to work things out in your own head," she told The BBC. "I felt very alone and helpless. I didn't know how to express what I was feeling or who to talk to."

    "Then somebody gave me this toy keyboard as a gift," Banks added. "It wasn't a really high quality one, the keys were lighter than a napkin, but I started messing around with it and these melodies came out... It was like five pounds of gravity was lifted off me."
  • Banks didn't pursue music right away. Instead, she majored in psychology at the University of Southern California.
  • Her music career started when a friend showed Banks' music to Katy Perry's DJ Trevor McFedries, who became her manager. Banks' first official single, "Before I Ever Met You," was released in February 2013. When the song found its way on to Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show, the exposure triggered a breakthrough year for the singer.
  • During Banks' breakthrough year, she toured with the likes of The Weeknd, made her TV debut on the August 7, 2014 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, contributed the song "Waiting Game" to Divergent and released her debut album, Goddess.
  • Jillian Banks told UK newspaper The Sun why she records under her surname. "Because I like the name Banks," she explained. "It's strong, feminine, masculine, big, small, brave and scared."
  • Banks likes to unwind with three-hour walks. "It just feels good to be alone with your brain," she told Billboard magazine.


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