Azealia Amanda Banks is a 21 year old American rapper, singer and lyricist from Harlem, New York. She first hit the sportlight when she topped NME’s (New Musical Express) 2011 “Cool List” in November last year. On December of the same year she was nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2012, where she finished third.
At the same time her debut single “212” featuring Lazy Jay had gone viral on the Internet. The “212” video was shot in black and white and features Azealia in pigtails, denim cutoffs and a vintage Mickey Mouse sweater dancing before a plain brick wall.
Her unique fashion sense was immediately spotted and recognised by fashion magazines around the globe. She has been photographed by the Dutch photo team Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for V magazine, by Matt Irwin for GQ and by Nicola Formichetti for Elle. And in early January, Terry Richardson shot her for a spring fashion spread in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She has also been featured on W and Interview and is currently on the cover of both Jalouse and Papermag.
She was invited at Karl Lagerfeld’s home in Paris back in January, at a party celebrating Karl, the designer’s new budget line, where she performed “212”. Having originally announced in January 2012 that filming for the “Liquorice” music video had begun in Paris, France with stylist Nicola Formichetti, Banks proceeded to re-shoot the video with Rankin joining her as the video’s director.
She was on the Mulberry front row alongside Lana del Rey, Pixie Geldof, Elizabeth Olsen, Michelle Williams and Olivia Palermo and attended the 2012 Met Ball with Alexander Wang. She has also collaborated with Lana del Rey for the production of a remix of Lana’s track “Blue Jeans”.
It seems that Azealia Banks is here to stay!