video premiere: jacob banks' new visual for chainsmoking
Birmingham singer Banks is down but not out in new video.
We first fell in love with Jacob Banks' brilliant baritone back in 2014. Sifting through the musical ghosts of classic gospel and soul, the Nigerian-born, Birmingham-raised singer is no nostalgic novelty though. His music is all about the here and now, his wordplay and lyrics deliberate over modern problems and is full of 21st Century details.
Following two sold-out London shows earlier this month and the success of his latest EP, The Boy Who Cried Freedom, Banks today releases the video for Chainsmoking, the EP's opening track. Using cigarettes as a metaphor for a destructive love, Banks struggles to set himself free from the pain of addiction. "It's getting harder to breathe," he sings. "Chainsmoking your love can't be good for my sanity, Can't be good for my lungs."
We asked Jacob to talk us through the track and its accompanying battered and bloodied video; here's what he had to say.
1. The video was directed by Jacob and pals...
"This videos is one for the homies, made by the homies. I directed Chainsmoking with my friends from London; it's always a wonderful thing creating content with the gang."
2. It's about Jacob and his pals...
"We're down but we're not out. This video represents our story."
3. It's about persistence...
"As creators, lovers, dreamers and the oppressed, a massive part of our story is how many times we got up."
4. It's about love..
"The oppressed always have to meet their oppressor with empathy."
5. It's about how life is unfair, because life is unfair...
"The curse of the oppressed is that somehow we are always expected to display grace even when the oppressor is being a c*nt."
Text Hattie Collins