4. JACOB BANKS
20 year old Jacob Banks is a student in engineering with something to say and a voice that channels Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke to say it with. Banks taught himself to play guitar just over a year ago and since then he’s worked with Plan B, won MOBO‘s unsung competition and performed alongside artists including Josh Osho in his hometown Birmingham. His Motown-heavy ‘Kids on the Corner’ is the first track from his forthcoming EP The Monologue. The song is Banks’ response to England’s August 2011 riots (kids on the corner / you know they shop for free’) and it’s been getting some buzz – DJ Zane Lowe featured it in the ‘Next Hype’ segment of his BBC Radio 1 show. Like him on Facebook and follow him Tumblr (where, like a good son, he occasionally posts pictures of his parents) for the latest – UK record labels will be all over him soon.