[Feature] Don’t Sleep On Me: Dayda Banks

Music has an extraordinary power to heal. Whether writing songs or listening to them, something indescribable about the process touches and transforms us. Just ask Saskatoon’s Dayda Banks, whose very career is testament to music’s power to change. The Saskatchewan emcee behind Roy Meets World experienced it firsthand nearly five years ago in a particularly low place – more on that later. Since that moment, and in the process of finding his voice as an artist, he’s experienced an impressive amount of success, opening for the likes of Pusha T, Fabolous, Jadakiss, Machine Gun Kelly, and R.A. the Rugged Man.

Dayda Banks, otherwise known as Mitch Roy, began his foray into hip-hop early in high school. He says, “when I was fifteen or sixteen, some guys I was friends with were writing songs and recording them on this terrible little setup in a closet in [my friend’s] basement, and I figured, like any young hip-hop head, ‘I can definitely be a rapper…..’ Wrong. I should have gone to class. For real. I knew I loved writing music, I was just terrible at it. We made some tracks and it just faded off like most hobbies.”

Dayda Banks’ musical story could have just as easily ended like that, if not for a tragic series of events that unfolded around him at the age of 20. He says, “I was minding my own business and life just flipped me upside down. I lost a brother and one of my best friends within a couple months of one another. It was crazy, man. There are worse things that happen in the world every day, but that was the first taste I had of how real life really gets.”

In a pivotal moment that could have led to a downward spiral for many others in that same situation, Dayda Banks took a different route. He explains, “where I live, the easiest thing to do is to lose yourself, and fall into something I see people regret for their whole lives. Instead, I picked up a pen.” He ended up writing about the tragedy he’d gone through, which in turn led to writing music again. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

In August of 2012, Dayda Banks released his first project: The John Doe Sessions. Of that project, he says, “I had a bunch of songs, but no real way to record it. In the end I ended up meeting Dylan G with Dillybat Productions and have been recording and shooting my videos with him ever since. Dude’s a whiz on Pro Tools.” The success of that project led to his aforementioned opening slots for several major hip-hop acts – “thanks to Diamond Kings Entertainment and Blacksheep Productions, shout outs for that,” he adds – a monumental feat, considering the project was his first real release.

Now, just this past February, Dayda Banks followed his debut project with Roy Meets World. With production credits coming from a wide variety of different producers, he manages to showcase his versatility as an artist at the same time as crafting a cohesive piece of art. Based on the success that followed his first project, it’s only a matter of time before his latest work launches him to new heights. Find out more about Dayda Banks below.

Name: Mitch Roy
Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
Influences: “I grew up listening to lots of Slug, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Eminem, Hieroglyphics, Zion I, Classified, and Sweatshop Union among plenty of others. Lately I’ve been listening to lots of artists like Logic, Watsky, Kid Cudi, Anilyst, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Sam Lachow, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, the list goes on and on. I love the storytellers, you know?”
Sounds Like: Soulful beats and honest, straightforward lyricism.
Latest Release: Roy Meets World
Must-Listen Track: “Bring Boots” and “Thanataphobia”

Download “Bring Boots” on Dayda Banks’ Roy Meets World.