Meet Liana Bank$, The New Singer Repping For New York City
Singer-songwriter Liana Bank$ tried to get a family band thing going while she was growing up in New York City, but her sisters weren’t into it.
“Everyone in my family can sing,” she explained. “I tried to make a little group with my sisters when I was eight, but it didn’t work. My grandmother has been in Chicago on Broadway since it first ran, and my mom sings jazz.”
With her new single, “Off” out now, however, nobody is mad at Liana’s solo act. The Queens native writes songs that lay somewhere between chill, turn up, and a celebration of her hustle, and no matter where you’re from, you’ll want to get on her level.
Watch “LVLUP,” her most recent music video, and read our interview with her below.
Where in Queens are you from?
I lived all over Queens, I’ve lived in Jamaica, Flushing… my mother, for whatever reason, was just always moving us around.
Are you really influenced by Nicki Minaj?
Yeah, especially when she was young and just starting. I love, love, love 50 and the whole G Unit movement.
Why don’t you live in LA?
I love it out there, but I’m just so used to the New York hustle and grind, that when I go out there, I feel like I’m on a vacation. I’m so headstrong, and so about my work, after a while, I’m like, I have to get back to reality.
When’s your birthday?
October 26. I’m a Scorpio.
What about your latest single?
I had been out of the studio for a while, and finally, I was like, I want to create something specifically for me, and it was the first song that I worked on with my producers and team, and it just felt really natural. I’m putting together an album right now, but because I’ve been writing for so long, I have an enormous amount of music already that I just have to organize.
When did you dye your hair green?
About four years ago.
What’s the maintenance of that like?
I have a stylist in Brooklyn, and I go see her often. It’s a lot. I did it because I was going in and out of a lot of meetings, and running into a lot of different artists, and I was just bored, and thinking like, everybody looks the same. I have black hair, and I need to show how I feel inside. My mom was like, what the fuck are you doing? [laughing].
Have you seen Lil’ Kim recently? Her entire surgical reconstruction is insane.
It’s ridiculous. There’s so much pressure to look a certain way.
Have you felt any pressure, or noticed the struggle of being a female in the music industry?
I really don’t care what people think about me, in terms of my looks, but when I was writing for other artists, there was absolutely a difference in the way others view girls and guys professionally. There’s just a certain lack of respect when a female comes in, and if she looks a certain type of way, there’s more of a condescending approach. You can’t be too nice, because they’ll walk all over you – it’s tough.
And if you’re pretty—
Yeah. There’s so much. You have to set barriers. When I started out, I was extra friendly, because I’m a nice person, you know? But not anymore. I come in, I’m extra silent, and observant, and then I do my work that way.
If you’re at that stage already, I can’t even imagine what Beyonce is like. Have you listened to Lemonade?
Of course. I fuckin’ love it. I didn’t listen to it without the visuals, but I kind of feel that it’s so special and important to watch together.
Are you doing anything else fun this summer?
I’m planning a trip to Six Flags in a couple of weeks. I love rollercoasters [laughing].