From the city of brotherly love comes the resurgence of soul. His name: Guordan Banks.


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To Guordan, life is like a tattoo. Not some run-of-the-mill tattoo that you get at a “friend’s” tattoo party, but the one that took years of planning and dedication. The one that costs hours of pain mixed with second thought, yet turns out to be a true work of art that is long lasting.

His catalog, so far, speaks for itself. Banks makes hits. Before, it would be for many of today’s A-list artists, but now, he’s looking to venture out and claim his lane in music.

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If you’re familiar with Meek Mill‘s Dreamchasers 3, you couldn’t have missed Track 10, “Heaven or Hell,” that featured Jadakiss. The glue between the two on that track was Guordan. Fortunately, we were able to catch up to the singer/sonwriter regarding his love of music and his upcoming EP, I Wanna Sing For Oprah. Read about it below.

Who is Guordan?

A visionary. I love to explore, I love to create — I love to create movements, but I’m first a believer of God. I’m 1 of 9 children, and I’m a musician. Born into it — a family full of singers, writers. My grandmother was a jazz singer, my grandfather was an organist, in many bands from the stylistics, and different groups like the-–

— Sound of Philly

Yeah, so you know, my grandfather showed me better than me.

So when did you realize that you wanted to bring your inherited gift to the world?

I realized that I wanted to do this when I was in high school and I had wrote my first song on the piano and sung it. The reaction was crazy. And once I saw that reaction, I think – I was in music class– so every chick in my music class had tears in their eyes and I was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on, here? I like this’ And, you know, I’ve always sung and I’ve always been influenced by music.

Ok, nice! Now with your Meek Mill affiliation, how did that come about?

DC! Dream Chasers! It’s crazy, because Meek is really the reason why I’m doing this. A big part of why I’m back in it as an artist and pursuing my artist career because he – you know I did a song with him called “Used to be a Used To” on Dreamchaser’s 2 and I had submitted it to him for like an Anthony Hamilton or a John Legend, R. Kelly, or somebody. So I talked to him about it and asked him, ‘you got anybody to cut it yet?’ And he was like, ‘Cut it? Never. I’m never gonna get nobody to cut it. I’m keeping you on it. That’s you!’ I was like ‘Word!’ And then out of nowhere – I didn’t know the date, because Meek will just drop something at any moment. I didn’t know the date that the mixtape was dropping, but one day I woke up to like a thousand text messages and missed calls. I’m like, ‘What the Hell? Who died?’ but nobody died. That track got murdered and everybody was telling me how they love the song, they love the record. So, that was like my introduction as an artist to the world.

To everyone outside of that high school class.

Right.

Now how did that opportunity lead to you working with the prestigious artists you’ve worked with?

Well, before I even submitted a song to Meek, we’d done songs together and I’d known him for a couple of years prior to that mixtape, but I’ve always been a songwriter. I was actually signed to Sony ATV—the largest publishing company in the world – for about four years. In that experience, I was blessed enough to work with Akon, John Legend, Keyshia Cole, and write some great songs for them. What I wrote for Keyshia Cole actually became a single and what I wrote for John Legend became a single. I wrote “Trust and Believe” for Keyshia Cole and “Who Do We Think We Are” for John Legend.

Ok! That Made NBA 2K14 what it is.

Yeah, but you know what’s crazy… I’ve never played 2K, but I always hear about it. Everybody tells me, “Oh, you know that song’s on 2K.” But, I’ve always been a songwriter, heavy. But Meek introduced me to the world as an artist. He’s one of my biggest supporters. Hands down.

Now, explain your EP.

“I Wanna Sing For Oprah”

Yes.

It’s a movie! But really, “I Want To Sing For Oprah” was inspired from when I was growing up, my mom used to always watch Oprah and I would see how she impacted people and how impacted my mother. It’s a double entendre. The title’s a double entendre. It’s actually a way of symbolically saying that I want to sing to the world for my mother, because my mother would watch Oprah everyday when I came home from school. And I feel like if you sing for Oprah, you sing for the world. And I watch how she touched the people and my music is very people-driven my goal is to touch people and impact people. So who better to help you do that than Oprah? My mother would be so proud of me if I could sing for Oprah, obviously. But also, the world would get a chance to hear my voice.

Very cool. Are there any other ventures that you’re currently pursuing in the industry?

I’ve actually started my own entertainment business called Bank On It Ent. It has a couple of artists, couple producers. It’s a strong movement. I have a good friend of mine with me, Brent Celek of The Philadelphia Eagles is a partner. Simply put, we’re just taking over. With myself and my hard work I’ve put in as a songwriter, Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers, I feel like there are so many blessings in store. There’s no limit to us. No ceilings.

-Jamaal Fisher (@jamaalfisher)

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