Look at this buff teng! Woi oi! Our WCW this week is doing bits in a male-dominated industry. That doesn’t seem to faze her at all and she is showing no signs of slowing down as she continues to kick down doors and refresh the path of women being taken seriously in this scene. Ms ‘Thyra’ Banks (silent H), is a Nigerian and Ugandan female rapper from South London. Her bars are hard hitting and her quickfire lyrics are often thought-provoking with metaphors and punchlines as she speaks on brings her experiences growing up in the ‘hood with a predominantly male circle, female empowerment, individuality and encouraging people to be true to themselves.
Ms Banks has been rapping since she was 11 years old, “I wrote my first bar aged 11 and it’s been continuous ever since. I come from a very musical family, so I’ve always been hearing different music in my house and wanting to write.”
Growing up, music was always part of Ms Banks life. Inspired by her Uncle in particular who used to rap over drum and bass beats and was involved in the industry. “My Uncle used to be a rapper in a grime group called ‘Essentials’. His name was ‘Remedy’ and he’d done really well in his time. That was amazing for me looking up to all the grime veterans like Wiley and Skepta. I would always perform for the family when they would come round and I would be so involved in everything musically. I wanted to know what my Mum was listening to, my Dad, my Uncle. I always knew I wanted to do it, I just didn’t know how to start.”
She began songwriting at the age of 15 to vent her experiences and help herself through troubled times. These songs formed her debut mixtape “Once Upon A Grind”, which came out in 2014. Her big break later came when a radio host friend encouraged her to start recording in the studio at 18. From there, she was invited to open mic nights and started to build her social media presence, including posting popular covers on YouTube. Since then she has collaborated with the likes of Tinie Tempah, JME, Stefflon Don, Loski, Fekky and Big Tobz whilst choosing to remain an independent artist. Banks has also stacked up quite a few awards along the way and performed as an opening / support act for the likes of Cardi B, Big Narstie and Migos.
The South London Queen released her second project, “New Chapter”, in February 2016. This EP showcased her singing ability and other layers of her personality. Last month saw the 24 year old, dropping her latest body of work, the highly anticipated mixtape, “The Coldest Winter Ever”. Featuring artists such as Montana – “Made It”, Dutch – “Mula”, and Margs on “Pen Game 2 (Extended Clip)” it has proven to be an instant smash and she remains on everyone’s lips as one of the most talked about female rappers in the UK.
Photo Credit: Ray Fiasco
This year, Ms Banks is due to hit the festival scene hard! Catch her nationally and internationally, gracing the stages of:
* TODDLA T’s – STEEZY WONDERLAND, IBIZIA ROCKS, IBIZA (12th June)
* SPOTIFY – ‘WHO WE BE’, BIRMINGHAM (14th June)
* HIDEOUT FESTIVAL, CROATIA (29th June)
* REDBULL PRESENTS: ARMARDA, THE THAMES – LONDON (30th June)
* MERKY FESTIVAL – IBIZA ROCKS, IBIZA (2nd July)
* WIRELESS, FINSBURY PARK (7th July)
* LOVEBOX – GUNNERSBURY PARK, LONDON (13th July)
* TINASHE – HICC, HARARE (ZIMBABWE) (21st July)
* POP-KULTUR, BERLIN (16th August)
* 1XTRA STAGE – READING & LEEDS FESTIVAL (24th August)
* SUNDOWN FESTIVAL, NORWICH (2nd September)
* GATHER FESTIVAL – NOBELBERGET, STOCKHOLM (15th September)
* TOKYO WORLD – EASTVILLE PARK, BRISTOL (22nd September)
* FEMALE FUTURE FESTIVAL – ÜBEL & GEFÄHRLICH, HAMBURG (2nd November)
Told you she wasn’t slowing down!
Insta / Twitter: @msbanks94
“The Coldest Winter Ever” OUT NOW: https://msbanks.lnk.to/TCWE