Banshee is a trap metal-meets-hyperpop artist with a quarter-million TikTok followers. For 2022, she’s staking a new claim in metal after she initially left the scene altogether due to abuse she encountered.
If you’re on TikTok or other social apps, you might have already come across Banshee, the creative moniker of Rachel Knight. She grew up playing guitar and vocals in various local bands, but now tells a painful tale of encountering cruelty and exclusion. The mistreatment escalated to abuse before she left metal to start anew.
“Setting boundaries shouldn’t kill the mood, so I’m romanticizing it,” Knight says of her latest Banshee single, “CHAMBER,” released Thursday (Jan. 13). She adds, “It doesn’t matter what you wear or how you act, your body is yours.” (Hear the track below.)
The song, an example of what she calls “fairy metal,” came to Knight after she recently got inspired by black metal again. Banshee had already released the debut album FUCK WITH A BANSHEE, but “CHAMBER” — complete with thoaty metal screaming — points to a forthcoming second effort, aptly titled Fairy Metal.
Speaking with Loudwire this week, Knight explains, “Metal became so closely associated with abuse for me that it became a trigger. I couldn’t listen to it without getting flashbacks and panic attacks. At the same time, I was getting really into various styles of hip hop, classic house music and modern EDM. Electronic production became the most interesting thing in the world to me, and the music felt safe and welcoming.”
She continues, “When Banshee started taking off, I started associating metal with Banshee, not bad memories. Facing trauma through music has given me the agency to love the things I used to love. Setting boundaries can be hard. But your body belongs to you unconditionally, and your limits are your choice.”
As for where she feels Banshee fits in today’s music, Knight says, “The worlds of metal and electronic music are marrying each other right now in a way, and I think it’s cute. Some people will argue this is metal and some people will argue that it’s not — I think it’s a good conversation to have, but I just make what I wanna hear. I’ve never known what to call my music; I think it’s harder than ever to define genres.”