Summer Banton On Viral Single ‘Miss Me’ , What’s Next For Her + More [@summerbanton]

Summer Banton On Viral Single ‘Miss Me’ , What’s Next For Her + More [@summerbanton]

South London’s R&B songstress, Summer Banton, recently dropped her latest single ‘Miss Me‘- a soul infused seasonal anthem which will leave you addicted to its melodic, catchy chorus. The sweet-sounding vocalist is a refreshingly honest breath of fresh air here to show the world what she’s all about – we sat down with her to find out just that.

Nicole: For people who don’t know you how would you describe yourself and your sound?

Summer Banton: So, for people that don’t know me – my name’s Summer. Everyone says that my name is a lot like me as a person – I’m quite outgoing and I’m always coming with energy and jokes. I’d like to think it’s always a good time being around me. My music is R&B in essence – I’ve always been inspired by R&B and grew up listening to R&B. I taught myself how to play piano and I naturally gravitated towards R&B chords and soul, so I think that translates a lot in my music. I’m definitely also inspired by my Jamaican heritage. So, the way I’d encapsulate it is R&B essence, but just with a combination of everything else that I listen to and what and how I’m feeling at the time.

Nicole: I know you come from a musical family so I can already imagine music being at the centre of your home, from it being played around the house to family members. So, what is your earliest memory of music?

Summer Banton: I remember being about six or seven and having a keyboard. I could literally only play like one chord, and I was playing it over and over again pretending that I was Alicia Keys, cause that’s all I wanted to be when I was younger – I just literally wanted to be Alicia Keys. I think that’s my earliest memory, either pretending to be Alicia Keys or just always listening to Beyoncé and pretending that I’m Beyoncé. It was always a Beyoncé and Alicia Keys thing.

Nicole: I remember seeing you first share a little bit of ‘Miss Me’ on TikTok and I was definitely one of those people in the comments begging you to release it. Did you expect that reaction to it on TikTok?

Summer Banton: No! Miss Me was like a throwaway song for me. I actually wrote it when I was 19 and I’m 23 now. I wrote it years ago and it was just like a cool vibe at the time, but then I was focused on making loads of other songs, which is what always happens. Then – I think it was last year, in September, I posted the first TikTok with the song. Didn’t expect anything. I was literally just bored and then all of a sudden people were like, “oh my God, are you gonna release this?” And I was like what?!

Nicole: How has it been seeing the reaction to your latest single ‘Miss Me’ now that it is officially out? Did 19-year-old Summer ever think that people would be begging her for this song to be out one day?

Summer Banton: No, I literally didn’t expect it. I mean, the reception’s been really positive, especially because I haven’t released music properly since 2021. I’d literally gone away and tried to figure out my sound and what I wanted to do and what direction I wanted to go in. I think a lot of it was also overthinking in that time frame. But it’s good to feel at a place where I feel like I’ve got some clarity in the direction that I wanna go in now. It’s also reassuring because the song is so old, like to know that there was maybe no need to overthink that whole time and my sound was there the whole time in a sense. I’m so grateful for the reception that it’s getting so far, and I feel like it’s such a relatable song with relatable lyrics. Everybody wants to tell their ex to ‘hold the L.’

Nicole: Listening back to your first EP Summary it’s clear to see your versatility and the influence of your culture in your music especially on the song ‘We’re Cool’. How has your culture influenced you musically?

Summer Banton: I’m Jamaican on both sides and I feel like a lot of reggae and even dancehall – it’s all just good vibes. So, I feel like that comes across a lot in my music. Also the musicality – like one of the producers that I work with called Livingstone he plays bass. He also produces a lot of reggae cause my uncle’s a reggae singer, so he’s produced a lot of big reggae songs for him. I feel like I’ve just integrated his musicality into my music through the production. So, I think it’s the vibes and a bit of the musicality here and there.

Nicole: Your songwriting is very honest, and your songs have beautiful melodies (personal shout-out to ‘Flowers’). Is it easier for you to express your feelings in songs or are you just as honest in person?

Summer Banton: I think music is definitely a form of expression for me and the way that I am able to express myself the best. I feel like a lot of people might describe me as a people pleaser or maybe not a people pleaser, but I’m like reserved and I’m quite shy so music has always been a way to express myself. I was even having a conversation yesterday and they said to me – you’re so understated and shy. I’m not somebody who goes into a room and is like big energy talking. It’s not cause I don’t want to it’s like what do I even say? So, singing and my music has always been a way for people to be like, oh, so that’s what Summer does.

Nicole: Who are your favourite singers and why?

Summer Banton: Oh, that’s a really hard question. Okay, so I’m obviously gonna start with Beyoncé because she’s just like the everything in terms of performing and just everything. I just feel like she’s my number one. I think H.E.R is amazing, she’s so good – amazing voice and her musicality, the fact that she can play instruments so well – she really shows that through her music. Sasha Keable I always say that vocally I think she’s like the best in the UK. She also gives me like Amy Winehouse vibes I think that’s why I’m so drawn to her. But yeah, I’d say Sasha Keable her voice is incredible.

Nicole: What’s your favourite song you’ve written so far?

Summer Banton: I wrote a song called ‘Go Away’, which is out already. I think that might be my favourite one that I’ve written because it just came to me so naturally and I just feel like it encapsulated this whole empowerment, like if you’re fake, I don’t want you anywhere near me, basically. I think that’s probably my favourite that I’ve written so far. But there’s some unreleased ones, which also are also strong contenders there.

Nicole: What are you most looking forward to doing this year?

Summer Banton: This year I’m most looking forward to releasing more music. I am really excited about my next single after ‘Miss Me’. That’s probably like one of my favourite songs that I’ve made [her next single]. And I feel like I’ve made a lot of songs, so that one I’m really excited to drop. And yeah, just making more music and releasing music is like my number one.

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Nicole Lewis