Tony Banks defies much of the music world that we live in today. This up-and-coming Hip- hop storyteller has made a name for himself with his smooth rhythms, sick beats, and serious vocals. He stands out from the crowd as outspoken, unapologetic and uniquely talented. Going from nothing to something, all on his own merits – Tony personifies the American Dream.
Having a love for music began at a very young age, while in his church’s choir. Tony kept that passion going into his teen years when, at 15 years old, he started to produce his own beats and writing lyrics. Thereafter, he immersed himself in the recording studio, where he honed his skills and continued his journey towards finding himself and his voice as an artist.
With musical influences from the likes of Michael Jackson, Missy Elliott, Andre 3000 and more, Tony has developed some phenomenal songs that show a true testament to these great artists – while bringing his own viewpoint to fruition. Described as “Move ya feet, feel good” music with a touch of the reality we live in, songs like ‘Bring It Home’, ‘Sex Tape’ and ‘Lemme Do You’ showcase the highly-polished production ability this guy truly has. Just a preview of what is to come in his hopeful future.
Tony Banks also stands out, in the unapologetic world, for being an out-and-proud gay man. In a culture that stereotypes gay men, especially ones who are African-American, Tony looks past that and understand his true and honest identity through it all.
“The more people realize that Hip-hop music is for the story teller, the dreamer, the underdog and not just some stupid mask of masculinity, the sooner we will be able to move forward.”
That rings true when it comes to being yourself in and out of the Hip-hop industry.
“I’m not trying to break any molds because I don’t believe I’m stuck in one. Either you accept me or you don’t, but that is more your problem and less mine. I’m making music for the grown and sexy out there.”
Tony has taken that upfront attitude to packed shows across the United States and abroad, including a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, SXSW, 35 Denton Festival in Denton, TX., Friday Night Live at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, and Pride Festivals near and far. He has done a fantastic job at appealing to both the LGBT and straight audiences, as his music and persona ring true with ALL people.
2017 brings new music with a pointedly updated attitude, and some off-the-hook collaborations with fellow Hip-hop artist like Jwlb, Will Sheridan and EarthTone. He was recently named one of the ‘Five Gay Men You Should Know’ by Manhattan Digest, and he can’t wait to bring all of this to his upcoming shows and so much more. Tony’s future is looking as bright as ever.
If there is one artist to look out for this year and beyond, who has a bold take on what music should be, then Tony Banks is your guy.