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Azealia Banks Talks Label Deal: ‘I’m Only Thinking About Music’


Harlem rapper Azealia Banks is psyched about her brand new record deal with Universal Music, but she hasn’t had a chance to celebrate just yet. “I stayed in New York an extra day to really like, wrap my head around it and sign it,” she tells SPIN, “but I’m picking up my clothing and packing a bag. I’m going on tour!”

Banks, the 20-year-old MC behind last year’s beloved “212,” has been in the label game before, doing a brief stint with XL under the name Miss Bank$. But she insists her mind isn’t on the past right now. “I was thinking about XL for a minute when I first started getting this attention again, but you forget about those things very quickly when you have like, new thoughts to have,” she says. Yet she admits, “I actually wrote ‘212’ with the purpose of not getting dropped from XL. I thought about what they’d be into and did a little research.” After she split from the label she put the song up on SoundCloud and suddenly everything clicked. “I went to Montreal and did the video for it and did all these other tracks and then I came back down and dropped the video all this stuff started happening!”

Also happening: Banks’ new track “Bambi,” produced by Paul Epworth, premiered during Thierry Mugler’s fashion show in Paris yesterday (listen below). A big deal? Absolutely. Especially since this is how Lady Gaga debuted new music last year, and her style maven Nicola Formichetti is involved. Missy Elliott also sent regards via tweet, writing, “Love the unique risky underground style!”

Banks mused on Twitter the other day about releasing her debut disc in May or June. She tells SPIN, “I’m only thinking about music right now.”