HomeInterviewsSXSW Artist Spotlight: Erica Banks

SXSW Artist Spotlight: Erica Banks

If you don’t already know who rapper Erica Banks is, chances are you’ve at least heard a snippet of her smash hit, “Buss It.” That single, which topped the Billboard Top Triller U.S. charts in 2021, was the basis of a pandemic-era TikTok trend. The #BussItChallenge was particularly popular with women as they would transform from wearing casual clothes to full makeup and glamorous attire when the beat dropped.

Born and raised in DeSoto, Texas, Banks, 25, is also a cast member on the current season of Love & Hip Hop. Banks will perform three shows at SXSW 2024: Friday, March 15 at the Made from Scratch Sound Stage on E 7th St, March 16 at Soho Lounge on E 6th St, and March 16 at the SXSW Stage on 603 Sabine Street. In this interview, Banks talks about the celebrities who danced to “Buss It,” starring on Love & Hip Hop, freestyling, and more.

Editor’s Note: This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity. Find the full video interview at the end of the article.

360°Sound: You performed at SXSW last year. How was your experience at SXSW?

Erica Banks: It was actually my first time last year. I had an amazing time. I think I did six or seven stages. Love & Hip Hop actually came out to film that, so it aired on TV this season. It was fun. I met a lot of artists and networked.

“Buss It” was a massive viral hit on social media platforms. What was that like watching so many videos with your song?

It was crazy. It was exciting. I couldn’t believe it. I was actually at my friend’s house when it was going viral, and I could not believe what was happening. Celebrities I watched on TV growing up doing my challenge was probably the biggest moment of my life. It’s now a platinum hit. I’m glad I put it out.

Were there any particularly memorable videos that stuck out to you?

Ruby Rose was the first one that I noticed. I was like, “Oh, my God, it’s Ruby Rose.” Ice Spice did the challenge. Gabrielle Union did it. I could go on and on.

You’ve released a lot of freestyles. I’m always impressed with rappers who can freestyle well. Do you think that’s a talent where you either have it or you don’t? Or do you think freestyling is a skill you can develop?

I feel like it’s a skill you can develop because I wasn’t always a freestyle kind of girl. It’s just something that I got into and found fun, and I just got good at it. And I continue to do it. I definitely think it’s something that you can learn.

I imagine producers send you beats all the time. In general, what are you looking for in a beat?

I can really do any kind of beat, but I’ll typically prefer something that’s up-tempo, something that people can dance to, and they’ll play in the club. I like fun music, so anything that’s fun and has a high tempo, I can do it.

I’ve noticed more up-tempo club music in hip-hop in recent years. Do you think that’s been in part a reaction to the more downtempo trap music? Maybe there was a demand for more club music?

I think it’s always in demand because everybody wants to dance. Everybody wants to have a good time, and everybody wants to pull out their phone and make videos. I feel like it’s only with upbeat stuff. With the slower songs, we don’t really get to dance. But I feel like with these songs, it’s more fun, it’s more of a vibe.

The “Buss It” video takes place in a boxing gym. Former world champion Errol Spence is also from DeSoto, Texas. Are you a fan of boxing?

Actually, I’m not a fan of boxing. I’m a girly girl. I’m not into sports or boxing. A couple of times I’ve sat and watched fights with my daddy. But other than that, no. But I do like Errol Spence.

How was your experience being on Love & Hip Hop?

It was different. It was my first time really being on TV. It was very time-consuming. I got to meet a lot of new people. But it’s still TV, so it’s not real, you know? It’s a different experience. Maybe one day I can have my own TV show.

How old were you when you started rapping? Who were some of your favorite rappers growing up?

I started rapping at 13, but I didn’t start recording until I was 19. Growing up, I listened to Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Missy Elliott. That’s pretty much it. I really didn’t listen to too many people.

What can people expect from your live show?

A lot of fun, a lot of energy, and a lot of twerkin.’ It’s just a good time. I like to entertain people. If you come to an Erica Banks show, you’re gonna have a great time.

What do you have on the way in the coming months?

Expect a new project, expect new music, new videos, new features, everything brand new. So, if there’s anyone out there that listens to my music, or even if you don’t or you’re a newcomer, I would just say to be prepared for new everything.

Keep up with Ms. Banks on her website, ericabanksmusic.com


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