With the release of his second EP instalment Tails mere weeks away, its fair to say Coin Banks has a busy summer ahead.
The first taste of the EP has already been released via collaborative effort ‘Someone’, and like the contingent of flavoursome tracks before it, has received a wealth of praise from fans and programmers alike.
Coin Banks caught up with Speaker TV to discuss his up coming EP, why he is drawn to hip hop collaborations and his favourite video game heroes.
What’s your earliest memory of performing and who inspired you to start?
When I was in high school, I got involved in some hip-hop workshops, and at the end of course we performed in Northbridge in Perth. So I guess that was my earliest memory of performing on stage, but we used to throw little rooftop parties down at the beach and freestyle to the crowd, but not sure if that counts.
What and where was the first gig you went to?
My first real hip hop gig I went to was RUN DMC in Perth.
I had just moved to Perth from Melbourne a week earlier, I knew nobody in Perth, so I was this little kid at the Burswood Dome watching RUN DMC do something amazing. RIP Jam Master Jay.
What is your most cherished album in your collection?
CD – would have to either be GAGLE – 3 Peat – its an amazing album and carries a lot of special memories for me. Or, COMMON – Like Water For Chocolate – probably my favorite album of all time.
In one word, describe your live performances.
What was the biggest hurdle in performing your music in the early stages of your career, and how did you overcome it?
Nerves -I am a horrible public speaker, and even now, when the music stops, and if the vibe isn’t perfect I still get a little nervous. I guess I overcame it with practice and persistence, it was uncomfortable for me, but I kept at it.
Can you tell us the story behind the dual released EP Heads/Tails and what the title means?
The purpose behind it was to show my versatility and the two sides of who I am as a person and an artist. Heads was an introductory EP, it was my first solo release, and featured a lot of features from some very talented friends. Tails however has less features, has a lot more soul influence and good feels.
You seem to collaborate often – a lot of the time with those in far away places; do you find these bring out the best in your own music?
I enjoy collaborating with people who I look up to and respect, this then forces me to step my game up. The faraway places aspect of it was part intentional; I believe Hip Hop is a worldwide culture, and it is a shame more people aren’t collaborating internationally. There is so much amazing music out there that people haven’t discovered, and I think by collaborating internationally you help spread that music.
You’ve worked with some of the best producers in the scene in Akouo, Ta-Ku, 20Syl etc – in your opinion, what does it take to be a great producer?
For me that are 4 core things I look for in any producer I work with.
1) Knowledge and respect for the culture
2) Originality – they have their own signature sound
3) DRUMS – Its hip hop. If the drums aren’t knocking, then I’m not feeling it.
4) Emotion – If the music doesn’t make you feel something, then it wont connect.
Are there any particular musical icons you idolized in the current musical landscape?
At the moment, I am really inspired by Chance The Rapper, Goldlink and Homeboy Sandman
If you could choose one person, living or deceased, to collaborate with musically, who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson or James Brown or J Dilla – I want all three.
What artists are you diggin’ lately?
Chance The Rapper
Outside of your passion for music, what else do you enjoy?
Video games, basketball, scuba diving and snow boarding are probably the most exciting things in my life. If I could just do that for the rest of my life I would be content.
Do you have any top-secret late night eateries you find yourself returning to in Perth?
Lately, I have been loving ‘MIX’. It’s a Korean + Mexican fusion joint in Perth. If you live in Perth, check it out!
Whats one thing in the Perth music scene you won’t find anywhere else in the world?
Maybe the 50/60 year old hippies you see at some Trap/EDM events?
If you could only eat and drink one beverage for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Coconut water – its healthy, good and if I have access to coconuts, I can eat the coconuts too.
What activities are on your bucketlist?
Go to space
Buy my mum a beach house
Go to Bhutan
Learn to play the drums
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Playstation or Nintendo?
Summer or winter?
Summer in Perth, Winter in Melbourne
Coin Banks’ Top 5 Video Game Characters
Sonic The Hedgehog
I grew up playing Sonic, I was a huge Sega fan and Sonic was that dude.
The speed, the attitude, and the little animations he would do when you put your controller down. He was way fresher than Mario.
Hands down the most famous video game character in the world. I don’t think there has been a bad Mario game released ever.
Nintendo have held onto Mario tightly and their success weighs on his shoulders. If you haven’t played Mario 3D world on the Nintendo Wii U – do it! Its amazing.
Rides horses, shoots arrows, plays an ocarina, fights monsters, and sails ships… He probably should be number 1.
Spent a lot of childhood with this dude. The design of bomber man is super simple, but he just looks fresh. He drops bombs.
One of the first lead characters in a video game to be a girl, and therefore not only gave teenage males something to gawk at, but also gave the women out there a character of the same sex for once.