Current Issue

Meet your new Celeb BFF – Ms Banks

By  | 

Not everyone can get a special mention from the Nicki Minaj – however, for 23-year-old Ms Banks, it’s just another day. The South London-based artist has been steadily getting known in the rap game, and with her unshakable confidence, bags of talent, and a strong work ethic, it won’t be long before she’s the name on everyone’s lips. She spoke to Pride about her love for South London, Ms Minaj and her surprise hidden talent.

When did you know that you wanted to be a rapper?

Probably from when I was about 12. I didn’t know how I was going to go about it, but I just knew that I was really good at it, and I really enjoyed it. My first rap was when I was 11 though, and it was really wack – ‘T to the Y to the R to the A, when I’m on the mic. don’t ramp, don’t play…’

Not bad at all! Lots of people know you now for your really impressive freestyle ability. How do you do it?

Sometimes I listen to a beat, and I start getting loads of flows and melodies in my head, but the stories and things I talk about are just my experiences. So as soon as I’ve got the flow… it kinda comes naturally. As long as you’re speaking your mind and saying what you wanna say, it will always lead you to your next part.

Nicki Minaj quoted your lyrics on Twitter recently – what did that feel like?

It’s amazing. I’ve been watching her since I was 14; I’m 23 now, and she’s still very much the queen. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised by her. Every time I listen to her music, I can hear how hard she’s worked. She’s so clean and precise with everything she does. She’s always been ground-breaking and she sets crazy goals for herself, breaking records and breaking through. That’s the type of thing I want to do. And for her to see what I’m doing… I already felt like I was good, but now? I’m on top of the world!

Do female rappers have to work harder to get the recognition they deserve?

“Yes. Not even in a cocky way, but I honestly feel like lyrically, I’m as great as a lot of guys who are doing their thing.”

Not taking any credit from them, but I’m as good as they are. But female rappers don’t get the same amount of recognition as they get – maybe because there’s not as many of us. I think more women need to be listening to rap music; they support the men, but when there’s a woman rapping, there’s so much there that you can connect with. And you’ll miss out if you ignore the women out here doing it.

Ms Banks

Your South London roots are clearly very important to you. Why?

When people know where you come from, and you’re doing amazing things, you touch the people in your area first. Me getting shouted out by a big US artist, that’s showing the young people from my area that no-one’s unreachable, and nothing’s impossible. The young girls in my area can say ‘you know what? She’s been through what I’ve been through, and she’s doing it for herself – I can do it too.’ That’s why I constantly rep it. Obviously, I wanna take Ms Banks to the world and spread my message to the world, but it all starts in South London.

What’s a hidden talent you have?

Not to blow my own trumpet, but I’m really good at dancing [laughs]. I used to dance when I was younger but I gave it up – I think I thought I was a bit too hood for it. I used to do tap, hip hop, every genre! I was good at picking up the different styles. I still really love it. I should really take it up again…

And finally, since December is all about feeling joyful, I’d love to know – what’s something that’s guaranteed to bring you joy?

Travelling. Experiencing a country for the first time really makes me happy. One of my favourite places has been Jamaica – Stefflon Don actually invited me there when she was shooting ‘16 Shots’. And as much as I’m African, people are like ‘you love Jamaica so much!’ It’s epic.

Ms Banks’ latest single, ‘Bangs’, is available now. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter on @MsBanks94

Interview by Nicole Vassell

Skip to toolbar