Reekado Banks Talks His Hiatus, Creativity, Forthcoming ‘Off The Record’ EP & More!

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

16 Oct 2020

Posing as one of Africa’s biggest hit-makers, with over 170 million streams and 6 million Instagram followers to his name, Reekado Banks is a multiple award-winning Nigerian singer-songwriter that has done nothing but shine! Today, the rising star has unveiled his brand new single, “Omo Olomo” alongside fellow hit-maker WizKid – the ultimate collaboration!

Signing to the famous Mavin Records back in 2014, if you journey forward to 2016, Reekado Banks dropped his 21-track debut album titled, ‘SPOTLIGHT’ and effortlessly bagged a top 10 spot in Billboard’s World Albums Chart, making him one of the few rising African artists to achieve this – amazing right?! Gearing up for the release of his forthcoming ‘Off The Record’ EP, we caught up with Reekado Banks and asked him the following questions…!

Describe your sound using only 3 words…

I’ve never had to! *laughs* Amazing, relatable and sweet! *laughs*

You haven’t dropped a huge amount of music over the last few years. In the time you have been away, how much do you think you have grown musically or even personally?

To be honest, a lot! And it’s something I am super happy about right now in my life! I realized I have been doing so many things the wrong way; maybe not the wrong way, but I have been doing stuff in a difficult way, and right now I feel like I have figured life out more than over the last few years, and musically to! I have been able to express myself in other ways, like today, I was just in the studio, I was dropping a Fuji vibe with Hip-Hop beats! Fuji is a genre of music in Nigeria, it’s local but it’s really big, I was just experimenting! I figured I hadn’t done that type of music before, and I’m happy to be able to break out of my own box!  

Did you feel like that time away was needed in order for you to re-charge and come back even stronger?

Definitely! I don’t know how else I would have done it, if I had been out there so much!

So, what made you decide that now is the right time to be coming back with fresh music for your supporters?

We had been working before now, and it’s time for us to put out everything we have been working on! It’s time! We weren’t in the face of the public or anywhere else because we were working, and it’s done. It is time for the world to enjoy!

You have previously said that these songs were set to feature on your forthcoming album. What was it about these tracks in particular that made you want to put them together for the ‘Off The Record’ EP?

These tracks first of all, are beautiful.

I agree!

*laughs* Second of all, I made them with my closest friends in the industry so it’s special to me. It feels like family! I wasn’t on my own on any track, I had somebody, or even 2 artists on every track. So, this one is really special, I did it with my closest friends and they gave me their best work, they were ready for me and I was ready for them! Making this album was pretty easy!

Sonically, this EP has no limits and has a very boast-worthy line-up of features from across the board. What made you decide to connect with artists from different parts of the world for this project?

I have EO and Kida for the UK, I have Harmonize from East Africa, I have Mr Eazi and WizKid and Tiwa Savage! The idea is to reach as many people as I can with this project. Really, ‘Off The Record’ is a foreigner to my album dropping next year. I’m trying to reach as many people as I can so they can get ready for my album! *laughs*

Getting everyone prepared for the big drop! *laughs*

*laughs* You know what I’m saying?! There is something coming but listen to this! *laughs*

I know you never got to meet up with these artists in person because of Covid, but how did the link up with EO and Kida Kudz come about? What was it about these two British acts that stuck out for you?

The crazy thing is, I didn’t make this song this year! It wasn’t even Covid time, we made this song in April last year!

Oh okay! I presumed you had been making it through the pandemic!

No! The crazy thing is I never made music during Covid because I was locked down Gabon without my studio for months! Eventually, when I ordered new studio stuff it was time to leave! I never made music during Covid, this is all music that has been made for time!

That’s must’ve been so bad, you not being able to make music for that long?!

I know! It was still good because I was able to focus on something aside music, it was time to focus on myself, away from the music!  

I feel like this whole pandemic has really forced people to reflect on themselves!

Yeah, to grow up! We needed to refresh!

So, what was it about these two British acts that made you want to make a song with them? I didn’t expect EO I’m not going to lie!

Oh yeah! Until the video dropped, and the comment section was going crazy about EO being back, I was like “Oh, okay!” *laughs* – I didn’t know what’s up, but EO is my cool friend! Kida Kudz is my very good friend to, I worked with Kida before now, and we have been friends for a long time! It was easy to reach out to them and get them on this. Like I said, these songs were handpicked because of the relationship I have with the other people on this project, it’s all love! We made these songs with love.

This EP, to me, is filled with feel-good and positive energy, which in our current climate is needed! You’ve said you picked these songs out prior to Covid, was this your intention with the selection of tracks picked out?

It was yes!

We all needed it really, so thankyou for that! *laughs*

You’re welcome! *laughs*

Did any of these songs challenge you in anyway, and if so how? Maybe sonically, lyrically or even with certain features? But seeing as you said you know all of the features; I suppose it was more natural for you!

Yes it was! It was really natural! Aside the fact I am the biggest critique of myself and I try to make, remake and over-make and then stick with whichever one goes well at the end of the day! *laughs* So, every track was as challenging as every other track because of myself, I just want to explore, I wanted to check inside of me and find everything that I could and pick what’s best.

Would you say you are a perfectionist?

I’m getting there! I don’t want to be because it’s going to be so tough on my life! *laughs*

Very relatable! I feel like most creatives are like that because we are our talent, we are our own product!

Yeah! My team believe so much in me, so I have to come through! *laughs* They tell me how much they believe in me and it is so much pressure, I’m just human!

*laughs* Let me breathe!

Please!! *laughs*

Regarding your creative process, do you prefer to work in a certain environment or have any mantra’s that you like to follow?

When I’m in the studio, I like it to be strictly work! If anybody is in there and is not contributing, they don’t have to be in there. Or, if someone is in there and is really disturbing, sometimes you can take it but other times you just want to concentrate and express yourself without being judged by anybody. Alone time with other music heads is the best time!  

A slightly harder question, but if you were to pick one song from the EP as your favourite, which one would it be and why?

It really is my baby! “Omo Olomo” with WizKid for sure because it sounds like a hit! *laughs*

What else can we expect to see from you this 2020?

I opened a new label, and this platform is to raise new artists, and right now I am in the studio with one of them and we are making music! Hopefully, we will put out an album pretty soon, we haven’t been able to figure out when but right now we are working on new music! When I have more details about the release, I am getting to let you all know!

Whilst we wait for the EP to roll out, listen to “Omo Olomo” featuring WizKid below and across all streaming platforms here.