[INTERVIEW] JUST BANCO
When describing Just Banco, ‘effortless’ is one of the first words that come to mind. With no real plan, the 0161 native started his rapping career early 2017 whilst playing around and catching a vibe in the studio with the mandem, that’s when he churned out the SoundCloud release ‘Overdose’. Since then he has now blossomed into one of the hottest prospects to come out of Manchester. His smooth flows and eclectic beat selection make him one to watch for 2019 and he is already creating a massive buzz for himself this year.
Described as “criminally underrated” underneath his latest video ‘Chun Li’ Banco is organically enforcing a new vibe ‘Trapanese’, and is clearly on his own wave, consistently delivering bangers with clean visuals to match. “I’m a deep guy when it comes to visuals because I want everything to look a particular way” this is evidently why Banco has consistently delivered such strong visual content. From a photo studio we turned into a nostalgic living room, Banco chatted with Viper to let us know a bit about himself (see images below).
When Did you start rapping and making music?
At the start of last year.
Okay, so besides making music, did you have another plan or anything else you wanted to pursue?
I didn’t really have a plan, I was just messing about trying to do music and it worked. First time I went studio I shouted a couple mandem and said do you want to come studio. Every man came and I banged out ‘Overdose’ it was only a Soundcloud tune but from there I made ‘Can’t Stay’ and everything else, from literally catching a vibe one day.
Just from watching your music video’s like ‘can’t stay’ which in my opinion was a big debut music video. You’ve always been consistent with quality. Creatively, what’s your thought process when you’re thinking of concepts and directing your own videos?
I’m a deep guy when it comes to visuals because I want everything to look a particular way. I use things I’m influenced by and try to make my video my own spin of what influences me. When I’m out I take in my surroundings and store different things in my brain and try to execute it on the day of my video. I also watch a lot of music videos that are different to what you normally see in the UK and watch stuff from other countries.
Anyone that follows you can see you have a lot of Japanese and oriental influences in your videos, and I also see you’re pushing your own thing ‘Trapanese’… Where does that stem from?
It stems from my first two tunes ”Soo yung” and ”Can’t stay”, when I got the beats it had this vibe to it and we didn’t have a word for it but at the time we felt like no one else was making music that sounded like this especially with the beats and the way I was rapping, then my bredrin Bimmy was like you know what this is Trapanese and we was like rah yeah, this was early before I released the tunes and from there Trapanese organically grew to what it is now. I was already influenced from a child though and knew the different things I liked and how I wanted to incorporate it into my visuals and music.
‘Lad’ that’s one of my favourite joints from you at the moment and to me it’s laidback and fun but what does it mean to you?
I did that tune to show man this shit’s basic to me (starts laughing) nah nah not even like that but to me that tune is very simple and its just a simple tune I made just pissing about and I just did it because with all my other tunes I felt like I was spraying bars with punchlines, but I thought let me dumb it down for lad and see what people think, sometimes when your cramming bars in peoples heads they don’t even take it in.
When I was coming up a yout I never new any artists from Manchester I just listened to bare London artists and Mc’s but now when you look around there’s so much talent repping this city, Underground and Mainstream. So when you were coming up as a yout who were you looking up to in Manchester, or if not anyone from Manny who in the UK?
When I was a yout in primary school I used to listen to Dizzee Rascal, So Solid Crew, More Fire Crew and Lethal B. I don’t know If I was influenced by them but that’s who I was listening to at the time. When I touched High school I was fully on Manchester Grime like Shifty, Wrigley, Fiascoo, Heightz. It’s different to now, some of the guys that was in the Manchester scene when I was growing up don’t even rap now. But at that time in high school Year 7 to Year 11 man was just hard on Manchester music.
Besides undeniable talent what else do you think helped other cities in the UK really start paying attention to Artists coming out of Manchester?
I think it’s a breath of fresh air to someone who’s not from Manchester. Obviously, you got London and everybody pays attention to London from the culture to how people dress and talk. Then you have Birmingham which I think people from London normally know a bit more about because it’s not too far and when I go to London people are always like to me “oh you’re from Birmingham init” and I have to correct them.
I feel like not everybody but a lot of Londoners that listen to Urban music don’t even know too much about Manchester apart from Manchester United, so it’s an eye opener like rah this city that’s not Birmingham and they have all these people and sick artists… But because of the football and history people have always heard about Manchester and been interested so when you have talent coming out of it, its bound to come up in conversation and catch people’s attention.
What artists are you bumping in your whip at the moment?
Percy Nul, he’s from Manchester. K dot, Travis Scott, I listen to bare shit man, even listen to some old school stuff too like Nas, bit of Mobb Deep and Tupac.
Who would you say are your musical influences?
One of my first influences for my first tune was Mac Miller, it’s a random one and when I say I’m influenced by him people will probably think that I listen to him religiously and wanted to make a tune like him but it was just certain elements I heard in his tune that I wanted to do and interpret in my own way for my first song. I also draw influences from Sade, Travis Scott and I listen to a lot of French Music too.
Our generation doesn’t appreciate Sade like the older generation and that’s a wavy influence to have! What is it about her music that influences you?
You know what it is about Sade.. my mum used to play a lot of her music when I was a yout and I never used to appreciate her music but when you’re a kid you don’t really appreciate your parents taste in music like that anyway, but as I got older and I started listening back to her music I was like, I think I like this and realised I was just lying to myself when I was a kid. Her music can take you to another place and have you zoning, not many artists can do that. You have artists that can make you vibe but Sade can take you to a next universe and that’s what I want my music to do to people.
What do you think your sound is going to evolve to 10 years from now?
I don’t really think I’ll be making music in 10 years, you never know, but If I still am I’ll still be Just Banco but a very elevated version, I won’t be talking about the same subjects because I’ll be a bit older. My subject matter will be a lot different because I would’ve grown with time and have a different lifestyle.
If you don’t see yourself rapping in 10 years’ time what do you see yourself doing? Do you see yourself starting a business? If so what Business would you start?
Clothing, Film production, yooo I’d do all sorts (starts chuckling) property, I’ll put my hands in different pots.
At the start of the ‘Soo Yung’ video you had a girl ranting about the UK scene because people were saying you’d do better in America as opposed to here in the UK. How did incorporating that come about?
She was on my friends uni course and they were having a debate in the class about my tune and he was going back and forth with her and she sent that as a voice note to him and he sent it to me like rah look how hard she’s going for you, and we just ended up using it for the intro of ‘Soo Yung’.
What’s Coming up?
‘Last train to Trapan’ is coming out soon! A lot more music and content to come out, I just want to put out good timeless music that’s my thing now. I’m not trying to follow what everyone else likes or what you’re used to hearing I just want to make music I like. To be fair that’s what I done with Lad, that was for the people, but I’ve done that now and now you just gotta ride with me.
Quick Fire Questions
Beamer Benz or Bentley?
Nike, Adidas or Puma?
Gucci or Louis?
Ian Wright or Cantona?
Curry Goat or Jerk Chicken
Depends who’s cooking it (starts laughing) – curry goat
Words by Jamual Madden
Photographer: Callum High
Stylist: Jamual Madden