Alex Dewayne Banks II is a young man who has been defying the odds since birth. He was born in Memphis Tennessee on April 19, 1996, a city well known for birthing some of today’s most successful music industry stars. A young man who was so eager early on in life to gift the world with his presence was born premature and given about a one percent chance of living. Facing unforeseen obstacles such as the possibility of being deaf, blind, mentally deficient, no ability to walk and a potential life altering speech impediment Alex Dewayne Banks has not only proved to be a miracle, but a survivor, since the beginning of his existence.
Growing up in Madison Alabama with his two parents as an only child, at the very tender age of two Alex proved to be a healthy bouncing toddler. Alex exemplified promise and because of his strong will to live and proven strength he would bear the nick name “Bam Bam” in his early years. His contagious fun filled spirit, encouraged everyone he came into contact with. He grew up listening to gospel, R&B, and smooth jazz. His mother is credited with playing various types of music genres to aid him with sleeping at night due to his active spirit. Alex loved music, he enjoyed going to church and singing – however it would be the day his aunt bought him his first set of drums that would set the tone for his love of playing musical instruments. “He would share everything but that drum set. He played that drum set until he ripped the drum set apart”, his mother recalls.
Despite his early struggles, Alex turned out to be a normal kid, who loved games, church and most importantly his family. His mother, Ravon Banks created the platform for him to find his niche and seek his true purpose in life. As he grew to be older, she supported Alex in many different sports activities such as karate, tee ball, swimming, soccer and basketball. Alex’s stature resembled that of a young stocky football player, despite being born a preemie, his family, school coaches and friends were sure he was going to be a football star. However his mother thought otherwise; facing questions and uncertainty from family and friends she decided not to let Alex play football. “I knew, as a mom, that football was not for Alex. I could not point my finger on what he was supposed to be doing at that time, but football wasn’t it”, recalls his mother. Ms. Banks believed it was about what Alex wanted to do, so she continued to nurture his musical interests. Alex would go on to take guitar lessons and continue on his search for purpose. “Music is my get away place, if I have a bad day it gives me a new perspective on life, an out of body experience, and it allows me to reflect on the inner me”, Alex explains.
At the age of twelve, now in the 7th grade, Alex would come find comfort in playing the “Saxophone”, while a being member of his middle school band. He credits his late uncle Dr. Edward Askew for purchasing his first saxophone. “You can be anything you want to be Alex, don’t ever allow others to put labels on you or put you in a box he would tell me”, says Alex. In the ninth grade, with only less than two years of experience playing the saxophone Alex was able to astonish his student body with a mind blowing rendition of Amazing Grace. One ailment Alex unfortunately walked away with from his early medical struggles was chronic asthma which he suffered from most of his life. It was when Alex discovered his love for the saxophone, his asthma attacks subsided. The saxophone for Alex was not only an instrument to showcase his talent; it was something that changed his life.
In just five short years on the scene Alex has managed to work with some prominent musical icons in the music industry such as Kim Burrell, Maruetta Clark Brown, Zangba Thomson , Keon Brice, Brandon Holland to name a few, as well as notable music producer /consultant Pastor Edward Wilson. Alex looks up to Wilson like a brother, “He has broadened my view of the business and creative side of the music industry and has been very supportive along the way”, says Alex. His music influences are the likes of Kirk Whalum, Kenny G, Gerald Albright, Tye Tribbett, and Musiq Soulchild. He has performed in many venues locally such as for the President of Alabama A&M University, the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Huntsville’s Arts Council Panoply, the Presidential Bar and Grill and hundreds of private and corporate parties. Alex has also been able to produce several music projects as well, his most recent September 2013 release of “A Trayvon M.” tribute. Alex recorded the song to send out a positive message about the tragic event, “I’m seventeen; I wanted the world to know we won’t forget Trayvon Martin.”, he says. Alex Banks describes his sound as “smooth” and having the ability to capture his audience and “make them feel like it’s just me and them”, he details. His upcoming projects include “Christmas in the City” due for release early December, a special feature in song “Little Girl” with Zangba Thomson and his debut album dubbed “Projection” will be sure to leave his audience wanting to know what else Alex Dewayne Banks II has in store.
Alex looks forward to obtaining a college degree in engineering; he credits his uncle (also his mentor) Marcus Eason for his introduction to the field. “I just want to have a career to fall back on and also have my own production studio one day,” states Alex. His uncle taught him how to balance his school life with his music life and emphasized how important it was to look your best and be the best.
Alex is a bright young man with a gift to share with the world. His humble spirit is infectious and contagious all at the same time. His goal and zest for life is to live on purpose, and to spread a positive message through his melodic musical talents that will resonate with his audience. He believes his music is an escape, a moment to indulge and he’s looking forward for the world to escape with him on this musical journey.
“You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you strive for it and the opportunity is there, no matter how young or old you are”, Alex says.
“When you find your purpose in itself the sky is the limit”- Alex Dewayne Banks II