You may have heard the name in the echoes of Grime and Dubstep over the years but Plan B aka Strickland Banks aka Ben Drew can hold his own when it comes to a tune. This London East-Ender has every trick in his bag when it comes to pleasing a crowd. Weather you’re feeling aggressive and in search of heavier and darker vibes to more sentimental crooning aimed to make a girl’s heart melt.
His debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words broke new ground for UK hip hop in 2006 with its down to earth sensibilities to tell a story. Examples of that talent can be found on “No Good,” which re-interpolates the Prodigy’s hit single of the same name. The track also received a killer Chase and Status remix.
Recently, Plan B has started transitioning himself from song to the silver screen. He portrays a troubled cockney thug in Noel Clarke’s Adulthood and he more recently co-starred with the original badman himself, Michael Caine, in Harry Brown. He was also featured on the Harry Brown soundtrack. This featured the hit single “End Credits” where he was reunited with duo Chase and Status who he worked with for their debut, More Than Alot. Check Plan B contrast his melodic singer songwriter side with his harder edge on the track, “Pieces.” A hard hitting D’n'B track for the ages that comes with a great video.
But Drew is always evolving and enter Strickland Banks. The Defamation of Strickland Banks is a collection of modern Motown and Northern Soul with a touch of Hip Hop. In this alter ego Plan B undergoes a complete 360 from his usual hoodie and jeans to a stylish gent. The whole band perform in mod suits and fully embody the style of that musical era.
Plan B portrays Banks as a sharp-suited British soul singer who finds fame with bitter-sweet love songs like “Love Goes Down” and “Writing’s On the Wall” but loses everything when he ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s as if Marvin Gaye went from his early Motown days to “What’s Goin” in one broad stroke that’s then remixed by London grime artists. Take a listen and watch to his latest video from the project, “The Recluse” and i assure you’ll be sucked right into the story.
Plan B will be touring the U.S. supporting Bruno Mars and Adele through the Summer but he’ll also be taking time away from that tour to do more intimate headlining performances. He’ll be hitting Brooklyn on May 5th at The Williamsburg Music Hall and will be joined by DJ Teenwolf. It’s a can’t miss performance. Hope to see you.- Shark