Focus: Zak Younger Banks | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you?
I’m Zak Younger Banks, I’m a singer-songwriter/producer from Newcastle currently studying in Glasgow. 

What is it you do?  
I write songs and produce music in my room (wherever we can find a drum kit) ranging from intimate solo songs to big, atmospheric arrangements.

How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been gigging with and releasing my own music since I was 18 but have been involved in music since my early teens. 

What inspires you?
At the moment psychedelic rock, jazz and stuff from the 70s. My favourite artists who influence my sound are probably James Blake, Burial, Tame Impala, Bon Iver and Leonard Cohen. Also just the world around us. These are very strange times and the importance of art and music that reflects what are for me, anyway, quite confusing feelings, is greater than ever. So that’s inspired me to focus on using my music to shine a light onto things that are otherwise pretty dark, in whatever small way I can.

Tell us about your music.
My music combines poetic songwriting and a DIY production style with a lot of heartbreak, synths and chill vibes. My sound and writing was initially influenced by modern folk artists like Leonard Cohen and Bon Iver, and increasingly by a wide range of alternative electronic music. For my first EP I stayed in my friend’s holiday house in the Scottish Highlands and recorded five tracks with a lot of ambient synths, reverby guitars and manipulated vocal harmonies, and since then I’ve been expanding on that sound by recording with my bandmates and experimenting with electronics. 

What have you got coming up in the future?
I’ve just released an EP which introduces a much bigger, percussive sound (and members from my live band Seoras Lewis (drums) and Sophie Joint (keys)), and I’ve got a load of music I’m really excited to get out – the first of which being this music video for ‘Checking Out’. It’s my first song I’ve released that’s focussed on politics – a lot of what I’ll be putting out soon will involve more outward-looking themes. As well as some more energetic beats and immersive atmospheres – this year I’ve been turning to music a lot more to escape and chill out.

Where can people find out more about you?
I post everything I get up to on my Instagram, but you can also follow me on Spotify and Twitter and my EPK has a lot of information about me (Links below)


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