Jacob Banks Defines the Role of an Artist

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“I feel like my job as an artist is to keep people company,” says “Move With You” vocalist Jacob Banks, offering a heartfelt, humble answer to a complicated question posed to many creators.

Speaking to journalist and author Cal Fussman on the Life is Beautiful Podcast, Banks describes himself as more songwriter than a singer, but above all, he’s a musician—one who has a responsibility to his audience.

“You listen to music when you’re alone, when there’s no one around and you’re sharing your darkest thoughts with your headphones,” he says. “Through whatever [listeners are] going through, they need to feel like there’s someone who’s here for them.”

In the realm of performing, Banks explains, it’s all about delivering a vocal with the right amount of energy. The energy can fluctuate, but it’s the right amount when it creates an environment welcoming enough for the listener to allow the artist to “be that person for them.”

“The songs that I welcome into my place when it’s just me and my speakers or my headphones,” he adds. “Those are the people I trust. It’s important to me [that] my favorite artists are all people that I feel like I can trust.

“And in the event that I can’t keep you company, I hope another artist can. If I have a song that can’t keep you company, I hope there’s a book that can, I hope there’s another artist that has managed to do it.”  

Listen to the complete Beautiful Moments podcast below. Want to listen on the go? Download the podcast here.