liane-banks

For my birthday month, I wanted my favorite artist to be someone who makes me feel special in a way that no one else can. Singer/songwriter Liana Bank$ (cred: Nicki Minaj, Lily Allen, PNB Rock) came to me as a breath of fresh air, and when I first combed through her SoundCloud account to get to know her as an artist, it was like I had found my long lost best friend, or the big sister I never had.

When one listens to Liana Bank$, they’ll find many similarities: coming from thankless, often minimum wage jobs; taking those same paychecks & turning up on a Friday night, and ultimately working harder than anyone in your field for what you believe in, even if no one else can see the vision that’s in your head. Listening to Liana allows you to be yourself. A self-proclaimed Alpha female, Liana Bank$ boosts herself in her music, and at the same time uplifts and validates the listener.

With her lyrics, Liana Bank$ has an undeniable skill to bring you into her world, and make you feel that you’re apart of it and not on the outside wishing to hang out with her. She’s effortlessly cool. Her vernacular is fun and creative. Cheeky punchlines catch you off guard at the end of her bars, adding to her intrigue. She’s sexy and sexual without making it her selling point. Her use of slang & ease of shouting “Fuck do you mean?!” on tracks makes her infinitely relatable. Liana can take you to a wild night that we won’t speak of the next day (unless you were there), or she can bring you with her on her work shift — don’t worry, she doesn’t stay there long — and she can show you how hard she grinds for her spot and continues to “LVLUP.”

We were able to have a cool email chat with Liana Bank$ where we talked about her past music that comes from her highly-acclaimed INSUBORDINATE EP, how the Queens, NY native keeps herself motivated as a singer & songwriter, as well as what we can expect from her upcoming album, APT 210. She even gave us some super dope tips on what to do after the turn-up gets too turnt!

Read below & click through the media to learn more about Liana Bank$!

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DTS MEDIA: Your new single “People Like Me” is the perfect summer vibe! What was your inspiration behind the single, and what made you choose a dancehall theme? How did the collab with Ayo Jay come about?
Liana Bank$ (LB): Thank you! Oddly enough we started this song in January while it was still pretty cold outside. The track itself was originally made to accompany a mash up of a few of my previous releases and the hook of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You.” I hadn’t released music in a while and wanted to put out a cover while simultaneously incorporating a few gems from Insubordinate. We later decided to scrap the idea but loved the track so much that I ended up trying to write a new song over the beat. Nothing was coming to me, and then Broadway (YOBO) created his own marimba and added it to the track. That changed everything! I came up with the hook at the very end of the night. We knew we finally got it right!

We went in to work with Ayo on his album a few weeks later and had great chemistry! We thought he’d sound great on the track but didn’t want to push it down his throat. So after we did a few songs together that night, my team played it for him and there was an instant reaction. He hopped right in the booth and started recording melodies! It was perfect.

DTS MEDIA: Staying with “People Like Me,” there has been a recurring theme of fewer ladies looking for love, or embracing their sexuality with a lot of newer music released by female artists. What do you think a few reasons of that might be?
LB: I think these days women are playing greater roles in the workforce as well as in the home. There’s a lot more to be accountable for and it leaves little room for diving into fully committed relationships. I think any person on the come up (regardless of gender) has it a bit rough when it comes to their love life. For me, my career requires a lot of my time and focus, sometimes all of it. Most partners can’t grasp the idea of not being able to get that from me 24/7.

I think love is the shit. I definitely want it (I think we all do at the end of the day) but I don’t look for it. I believe that love will find me when it’s time.

DTS MEDIA: Your single “Worth It” is incredibly inspirational; I even play it at my own job. In the song, you say “That’s not a real job, Liana.” What’s the worst job you’ve ever worked, and why? How did you keep your sanity and replenish your motivation while working less-than-fun jobs? What would you be doing if it wasn’t music?
LB: That’s so fire! Honestly, none of my previous jobs were worse than the other. I always made sure that I liked at least one thing about my places of employment and found a way to incorporate my passion into each one. My first job was at Coldstone [Creamery]; I loved that we sang songs for tips. My next job was at a daycare. I would write rhymes with the kids during lunchtime and have everyone recite them together. After that, I worked at Johnny Rockets, another place where we’d sing and even do little dance routines. In a weird way, I was always performing.

Honestly I wouldn’t have any sanity working less-than-fun jobs. I haven’t worked for someone else since I was 18/19. I quit everything that didn’t feed my passion and have been a self-employed songwriter since!

If I weren’t making music I’d be a screenwriter. Film, television, cartoons all that!

DTS MEDIA: We know you’re very free-spirited when it comes to fashion. Who are some of your favorite boutiques and indie designers that we should know about? Have you ever given thought to start your own clothing/makeup/shoe line?
LB: My favorite boutiques are Nasty Gal, Vfiles, Opening Ceremony, Adidas, Topshop and Nike! I’m heavily into indie designers too. I’ve seen so many of them get robbed of their ideas by bigger brands and it kills me! Some of my faves are: Herman by Raif, Maison The Faux, Whatever Twenty One, RIDEAU and Amehl NYC. I’m actually working on a small merch line right now. Designing led jackets by hand!

DTS MEDIA: Describe your songwriting process for others vs. writing for yourself. Is it more challenging to write for men vs. women?
LB: When I write for myself I have complete freedom. I don’t overthink my process. I literally just spill my thoughts onto the page. When I write for others I think a lot. I remove myself from the situation and find a way to step into the other artists’ shoes.

I actually find it easier to write for men. Mostly because I know what women like to hear from men and most men are trying to impress women. Women can be extremely complex and feel 10 things at one time, myself included. One second we’re like “oh that’s bae” and the next it’s “I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no man” LOL

DTS MEDIA: We love to give motivation to our readers. How can more young people learn to get off their asses, go hard for themselves, and “LVL UP?” What’s your own life motto?
LB: For me, not being handed opportunities and having to earn everything I wanted is what helped spark my fire. I knew that if I wanted something I was going to have to get it myself. Being from NYC is insane! Seeing people come here from all different countries with basically nothing and end up building legacies for their families was motivation within itself. I would recommend a trip to my city. If NYC can’t motivate you, I don’t know what can!

My life motto: “throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.” I have it tatted on my arm.

DTS MEDIA: Do you see yourself as an Alpha female? What did it take for you to discover that about yourself? It’s very hard to imagine you as ever being shy when you watch your performance videos.
LB: I’m definitely an Alpha female. I’m very much a leader and have a strong sense of self. I like to go after the things I want rather than wait around for them to be presented to me.I wasn’t always this bold though. Internally, yes but not outwardly.

I think I just got tired of being taken advantage of when it came to my career. I associated likability with sweetness until I got deeper into the music industry and learned that nobody gives a fck how sweet you are. Business is business and people only respect you, if you command that respect. I don’t walk around with a bad attitude though. That’s one trait I refuse to inherit from the alpha stereotype. I’m super chill and jovial most of the time but I do command respect wherever I go. Most people know not to cross me, and if they didn’t they would definitely find out shortly after.

DTS MEDIA: What’s the significance of “APT 210” title? Do you have a release date?
LB: My former landlord needed me to leave my old apartment sooner than we originally agreed upon and I hadn’t yet found a new place to live. Coincidentally, one of my producers was moving to LA at the same time so there was an available room at their spot. Apt. 210 is where we currently live. We made and recorded the first song off the project in the living room together. I’ve written just about every song on the project here. So many stories and memories made here, I had to pay homage. July/Early August is when I intend to move on to the next chapter of my life, which is why I’m aiming to release around that time.

DTS MEDIA: Can we expect more music videos with this album? What producers will you be working with? Tell us the what you want listeners to feel or know about you with this album.
LB: I just finished shooting the music video for “Ghost” and will be shooting “People Like Me” in about a week! So yes, definitely more visuals this time around! I’m mainly working with YOBO on this project; I have a few other tracks that may be incorporated from some talented outside producers (but I haven’t decided the full track listing just yet). I’ll also be making my official production debut on this project.

I feel like Insubordinate was an introduction to who I am. On this project I dug a little deeper to allow people to see and understand why I am who I am.

DTS MEDIA: In regard to “Plead The Fifth,” what are Liana Bank$’ 3 best post-turn up remedies after a wild night? Any hangover tips?
LB: Lol I just played over in Sweden and got a little too lit after the performance. So I had to pull out the tips quick!

A) Shades!!! (Preferably with a really dark tint, so no one can see the large amounts of sin hidden within your under eye circles)

B) FOOD!!! (Something savory and filling that’ll absorb some of the “party juice” from your tummy.)

C) Reminiscing! (Thinking about the great time you had always makes up for the sluggish demeanor you carry around the next day. At least it was worth it!)