Photo credit: press photo courtesy of Warner Records
Erica Banks has certainly been busy from releasing back-to-back fan-favorite records to releasing her debut album ‘Diary of a Flow Queen’ earlier this year.
With bass-forward records, classic samples, and a Texas drawl, the 23-year-old rapper definitely held her own on the project.
“‘Diary of a Flow Queen’ is definitely the party girl pack all in one. I’m letting my fans get in my head as to what I think a good time is, I have put it into music. This one’s for the women that enjoy fun, and are not to be played with. Definitely a memorable project, my favorite so far,” said Erica in a statement.
Erica also recently released the video for her single “Trick” from the album. The 1501 Certified artist hit the strip club for the “Trick” visuals, and the video chronicles Erica and a number of dancers looking for a large payout after putting that work in.
AllHipHop caught up with Erica Banks to discuss her new album, her “Flow Queen” title, her use of classic Hip Hop samples, her confidence and more.
AllHipHop: How did the success of the “Buss It” challenge feel for you? I know it wasn’t overnight; I know it was like a 3-year journey to that moment, but how did it feel? Did it feel overnight when it happened?
Erica Banks: Yes and no. Yes because I was only signed for not even a year when it went viral, and I’d say no because it kind of felt like it took a long time because I put in a lot of ground work, you know, before I signed. It kind of felt fast, but it kind of felt slow, but I’m glad it did what it did.
AllHipHop: What’s the first thing you bought with your first big check?
Erica Banks: Um a car, I bought me a Benz…..It was white. Yep, I bought me a Benz. That was my first big purchase. After that, I just started buying bags and stuff everyday.
AllHipHop: Congrats on the release of your new project, ‘Diary of a Flow Queen.’ So I love your confidence, but sometimes when you are confident, you get a lot of backlash, so I have two questions: How do you deal with the backlash, and why do you think people come at you about the confidence?
Also, what makes Erica the “Flow Queen?” What makes Erica’s flow special in your own words?
Erica Banks: I feel like people react the way they do because in 2022 the world is just sensitive, but I’m going to always be confident and always believe that I’m the best at what I do because that’s just how I feel. You know everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and that’s my opinion, so that’s how I feel. On “Flow Queen,” I would notice whenever people would watch my videos, they would always comment and say their favorite thing is my flow and how I switch it up, and how it’s so different. So I was like what can I call myself including the word flow, and I was like “Flow Queen,” and it stuck.
AllHipHop: What’s the hardest thing about being a female in the music industry?
Erica Banks: It’s harder for women because it’s a male-dominated industry, so a lot of times males try to play on that or take advantage or play you like you’re crazy because they think that some may not be as smart. That’s the only downfall to that it’s male-dominated, so it’s a little bit harder for us.
AllHipHop: I love how transparent you are; so you’ve been open about modifications to your body. We obviously know that you are in full support of it, but what do you say about people feeling like when people see someone get their body done, it can influence other people. We’re in a world of plastic surgery and modifications, how do you feel about influence possibly influencing others to get work done?
Erica Banks: Well my situation was never an influence. My situation was me strictly wanting to get my body done because I’m just not a gym girl, so that’s just me. I support it though whether people want to do that or if they want to stay natural, but in today’s world, everybody is just easily influenced by the internet. So, some people do go get it done because they feel like this is what the internet wants to see, but me in particular, I know I wanted to get my body done when I was in high school, so I just finally got the money to do it.
AllHipHop: So you’ve sampled some dope Hip Hop classics on a few records. Who’s coming up with this idea to sample? Was it you, a producer, or a collaborative effort?
Erica Banks: Sgt. J who produced “Buss It,” he came with the idea of the Nelly sample. He actually brought that to me, and then I came up with the “Toot That” song, so we did the “Pop Lock & Drop It” sample on that one. I was like we got this song with the Nelly, now we need something else that’s that same vibe, so I was like “Pop Lock & Drop It” will be hard, and we did “Toot That,” and “Toot That” did amazing. It’s still one of my most trending songs, so we’re doing the right thing. We just kind of bounce off of each other….With “Do It” I was like I was in the club one day and was like they still play this Khia song in the club. I was like it would probably be hard if I could put some 808s with that. I got with Doe Doe, my producer who is also signed to 1501, and he put the drums together, and we did it.
AllHipHop: Who are some of your biggest influences coming up?
Erica Banks: Missy Elliott of course. I always say Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, Drake…that whole era. Nicki Minaj of course. If I had to name the top 4 people I was really listening to as a kid coming up, it would be Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj.
AllHipHop: Who are your Top 5 favorite rappers dead or alive?
Erica Banks: Future, Lil Baby, Gunna, myself, and Nicki Minaj.
AllHipHop: Who are some female artists that you would like to collaborate with?
Erica Banks: I’d like to collaborate with Omeretta. She’s out here in Atlanta. Glorilla [she’s] so hard. I love her stuff. I just collaborated with Glitter Gloss who’s acfially best friends with her. Super dope. Super sweet. I would have to say Summer Walker. I’m going to just go broad. Summer Walker, Jhene Aiko. I love a R&B vibe, so maybe we can get some of them done.
AllHipHop: What are some male artists you’d like to work with?
Erica Banks: Future of course, Drake, Lil Wayne, Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, Ty Dolla $ign. The list goes on.
AllHipHop: Who would you like to see in a Verzuz battle?
Erica Banks: I want to see the obvious. I want to see Chris Brown and Usher.
AllHipHop: If your sex life was a movie, what would be the title?
Erica Banks: Fantasy World
AllHipHop: In 2022, what does Erica Banks look for in a man?
Erica Banks: Stability, humor, honesty, loyalty, great hygiene, and no kids.
AllHipHop: Being an artist from the south, how do you feel about the New York sound?
Erica Banks: It’s not really my style. I’m open to trying it as far as music, but do I listen to it, no.
AllHipHop: Education..How important is education? You were going to school to be a nurse, but you took a different direction and it worked out for you, so what would be your advice for someone who is [currently] in school.
Erica Banks: I would say do whatever you feel. Some people like school; some people don’t. I don’t like school, but I say if you like it, go. If you don’t, find out what else you like. I had to find out what else I liked.
AllHipHop: If you could make a classic female anthem record, what females would you put on the record?
Erica Banks: I would put Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Missy Elliott.
AllHipHop: So what’s next for Erica Banks, and are there any other endeavors that you would like to tap into?
Erica Banks: Um what’s next for me.. just continuing to bounce off of my project, drop the videos for songs off my project. We just dropped “Trick,” we have “Do It” out, we’re getting ready to do “Nasty” with Bankroll Freddie, so just continuing to capitalize off of my project….I want to eventually act, become an entrepreneur, open up doors for my own products, my own line, and stuff like that, but later on though. Right now, I’m just focused on my music.