Covering Aaliyah without pissing people off can be tough. Just ask Drake. But BANKS, a young singer/songwriter with some Lorde-like vocals and a stripped-down sound, has done just that with her rendition of "Are You That Somebody?"
On Wednesday, BANKS stopped by BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, the program famous for requesting covers of fan-favorites by their musical guests. Put to the test, BANKS offered up a chilling interpretation of Aaliyah's 1998 hit. Accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, BANKS' vocals are haunting; her powerful voice offers a striking contrast with Aaliyah's breathy original. Moreover, the L.A. native's version has a certain brooding punch to it.
BANKS, a.k.a. Jillian Banks, has been on the scene since 2012 but first made waves when she toured with The Weeknd in late 2013. The pairing made sense — both share a similar sound (raw, industrial R&B) and public presence (enticingly elusive).
One big difference? BANKS is taking calls. The singer shares her cell number on her Facebook and she encourages you to call or text with questions. Hit her up and let her know if you like what you hear.
In the meantime, if you're looking for some more modern-day Aaliyah love, check out Haim's latest video, "If I Could Change Your Mind," choreographed by Aaliyah's longtime collaborator Fatima Robinson, or bump Zendaya's debut disc, whose sound was heavily influenced by the late, great star.