Banks’ Best Advice: Music/Life Balance, Accepting Yourself, and Grandma’s Wisdom

BANKS’s Best Advice: header
Monica Freeman / May 12, 2022
Listen to the Alt-R&B singer-songwriter kick off season two of our Best Advice podcast with her grandmother’s guidance, the importance of a full personal life, and more.

BANKS has had quite an odyssey during her decade in music. From mysterious newcomer armed with dark, synth-laden R&B/pop through four acclaimed albums, the L.A.-based artist has navigated health challenges and a transition to independence on the journey to her 2022 release, Serpentina.

Detailing the most valuable insights she’s gleaned along the way, BANKS joins Spotify for Artists journalist and host Kim Taylor Bennett for the first episode of our Best Advice podcast’s second season, which debuts today. With new episodes dropping every Thursday for the next few weeks, you’ll also hear from Troye Sivan, Prince Royce, and Big Freedia, with more episodes arriving later in the year.

For BANKS, who gives her best advice to other artists in the episode below, a strong support system and input from friends, family, and creative collaborators has been crucial along the way. Even a fractured spine, depression during the pandemic, and autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s disease never sidelined her.

“Music helped me, as usual,” she says. “I feel like I’m the best artist I’ve ever been and it was good to be around people that brought that out of me.”

Check out her full episode here, plus read on for some of her key takeaways.

It’s OK to Not Know Everything

“You’re not born and then know how to do everything, and know how to tell people what you want, disagree with somebody, stand up for yourself, know how to actually think about or find out what you even want. You learn all of this stuff. As an artist, it’s ok to be unsure sometimes, and that’s part of the journey.”

Mantra: Your Opinion Has Nothing to Do With Me

“Part of being human is you want people’s acceptance. I think it’s just so important to have that core sense of self where you don’t need it, where you accept yourself. ‘Your opinion has nothing to do with me’ is like ‘That’s your perception of things.’ That doesn’t mean it’s true, that doesn’t mean that defines me, that doesn’t mean anything.”

“My grandma said to me, when you’re young, you care about everything everyone thinks about you. When you’re a little older, you stop caring so much. And then when you’re older than that, you realize no one is thinking about you anyways. I think that it’s kind of a soothing thought.”

Remember to Live Your Life

“When I look back at my life when I'm an 85-year-old woman, I don’t want to be like, ‘Oh, I had a really pleasant life’... I want to remember my life with color, with ups and downs, and with lessons – and I think that’s what makes life full.”

“I’m telling this to myself too. I still need to hear it because I still struggle with being so hard on myself if I mess up or if I make a wrong decision.”

“I think having a full personal life is so important. I’ve gone through periods of time where I’m so focused on my career, it feels like my career is my personal life, and then what happens is your worth and your meaning of life has so much weight on what you actually do for your job and then that isn’t healthy. If you have a really full life outside of what you create, you just become a more dynamic person.”

To hear more from BANKS, listen to her episode of our Best Advice podcast, and browse more episodes from the series here.

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Monica Freeman / May 12, 2022
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