STORMING onto stage at this year’s Glasto in a Power Rangers-inspired outfit and hair as long as her Twitter feuds list, Azealia Banks brought it. In fact she brought it so hard the performance earned her the ‘Most Shared’ artist on the official BBC website.
Other than an Ireland date next month, fans didn’t have an outlet for their next fix – that is until she announced yesterday she was headlining Brixton Academy on the 30th of November.
It coincides with the release of the 212 star’s much-anticipated debut album Broke With Expensive Taste (know the feeling), which in itself comes ahead of her second single’s release in late September. Called ATM Jam, it’s produced by Mr Summer himself Pharrell Williams.
You can imagine she scares a lot of people; a young attractive woman who swears like a sailor, gets into arguments with pretty much everyone, and threatens the very fabric of society with her brazen sexuality. Plus throw in the fact that she’s black, and you can almost hear the neo-Mary Whitehouse cries of complaints.
But this fierce and feisty package is exactly why she has so many fans, and why 212 — the song of winter 2011/spring 2012 for many a clubber — has a whopping 56 million YouTube hits. It also helps that the girl can rap.
At the time she recorded it she was working at Starbucks, when she sampled Lazy Jay’s Float My Boat, made a black-and-white video for $30, and the rest is hysteria.
Since then it’s all been a blur of fashion shows, photo shoots and studio recording. The NME voted her top of the 2011 ‘cool list’, Pitchfork placed 212 in the Top 10 tracks of that year, and Terry Richardson shot her performance in the home of Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld.
And then there’s those Twitter battles, with everyone from Perez Hilton to Lilly Allen to Rita Ora, over use of the word ‘faggot’, Bank’s delayed album production and anything and everything, respectively. She doesn’t exactly help her reputation as a troublemaker, but then we can forgive the 22-year old New Yorker for her “spirited” nature. In this month’s Dazed & Confused magazine, she said “I’m not trying to be aggressive, I’m just very direct. More often than not I think my good intentions are taken negatively.”
This all makes for an interesting cocktail of artist, and the buzz for the Brixton gig already palpable.
ATM Jam feat. Pharrell is released on September 29th on Polydor/Interscope.
Tickets for the Brixton Academy go on sale this Friday 30th August at 10am.