Blending cinematic grandeur with the intimacy of bedroom pop is no small feat, but it’s second nature for Banks. Jillian Rose Banks was born in 1988 in Orange County, California, and started writing songs on a keyboard as a teenager to deal with the aftershocks of her parents’ divorce. After uploading an early track, the brooding “Before I Ever Met You,” to SoundCloud in 2013, she wound up closing out the year with two EP releases (eventually collected as her 2014 long-player Goddess). “Waiting Game”—a sparse, powerful song driven by pulsing synths and moody piano—catapulted her to further renown after it was featured in a Victoria’s Secret holiday commercial. That a lingerie company chose to use Banks’ music to sell its wares is fitting; with her early work, the songwriter established herself as a sensual and evocative voice, akin to R&B singer The Weeknd, with whom Banks has toured a number of times. Songs like 2014’s “Beggin For Thread,” with its driving, percussive backbone and mesmerizing chorus, revealed Banks as capable of big hits, too. She pursued sharper production on 2016’s The Altar and, in 2019, she released III, her most pop-centric album to date, unveiling a sound that mixes catchy melodies and dazzling production with elements of soul, funk, electronic, and industrial.
HOMETOWNOrange County, CA
BORNJune 15, 1988