COIN BANKS Forgiven not forgotten

Acclaimed Perth MC Coin Banks is back with his latest single Forgive Us featuring the WAAPA Gospel Choir. Taken from his upcoming EP Outside Looking In out June 30, he’ll launch it officially in Perth with a show on September 15 at the Rosemount. The single marks the rapper’s return from a short hiatus after the success of  2014 duel EPs Heads and Tails. Banks came to prominence as being the most played artist on triple j Unearthed in 2015 and won WAM’s Urban Artist of the Year in 2015 and WAM Song of the Year is 2015 and 2016. CLAUDIA MOORE caught up with him to discuss the single and upcoming release.

What was it like collaborating with WAAPA’s Gospel Choir on Forgive Us?

It was amazing, a really incredible experience to have, you can really feel the presence of the choir in the song. It was also great just to be in the studio recording with them and to see 20 people harmonise together was very special. I think they did an amazing job and really love the way it all sounds.

You like to merge the classical with contemporary in your music, as we can see in Forgive Us, what inspired this?

For me hip hop as a genre draws from so many different styles of music, you see a lot of artists sample from blues or classical music or even video games. Although I didn’t sample at all in this song, the use of classical music elevated it to a whole new level. For me the goal with Forgive Us was to try something new and create a very unique sound and the choir definitely helped with that.

After the success of your duel EPs Heads and Tails did you feel much pressure to back it up with this new EP?

Yes, for sure! Before Heads and Tails I was just making music because I wanted too, I didn’t have a name or reputation or anything. I was making music because it was fun and I loved it and that’s what I think made Heads and Tails so real. This time around I have an audience and fan base and there’s a lot of pressure to impress them. I think the reason this EP took so long was I produced so much music, a lot of which I will probably never release; I just wanted to get it perfect.

What was the premise behind Outside Looking In?

The title says a lot about the process I underwent with this album, it was about really distancing myself from the music and not over thinking it. For me I struggled after the duel EPs because music started to feel like a job and I didn’t want that. I was starting to dissect everything when I listened to it and not just sit back and enjoy the music experience. I really wanted to rebuild that love for music again and I took the time out to just listen to all sorts of different stuff and really rebuild that relationship with music as not only an artist but also a fan.

You have a national tour coming up, what excites you most about touring this new release?

Finally getting to play some new material! I haven’t had anything new to tour in over three years so it’ll be great to take the new (EP) out full of music to play. I’m also very excited to see everyone’s reaction as well. I think playing the same stuff over and over I started to enjoy it little bit less. It’s easy to fall into a routine when you’re always playing the same stuff, it becomes less exciting. I did find though I would try to spice things up by adding new things to my sets so that it wasn’t always the exact same.

You’ve had the chance to tour internationally, is that something you’d like an opportunity to do more in the future?

Definitely from day one my goal has been to play around Europe. I think we are lucky in Australia there are so many fans of hip hop but that’s even bigger in Europe. There’s such an appreciation for the genre in Europe so it would be amazing to go over and play my stuff. Also geographically there’s so many countries you can tour and play whilst Australia is a lot smaller.

With Perth being your hometown do you think there’s a special relationship when you tour there?

Yeah it’s always different when you play for that core fan base you have in your hometown. I think Perth is so lucky because we are so spoiled with the amount of great artists based there. Because it is hard for Perth musicians to migrate over east there’s so much talent present in Perth.