It wouldn't be a World Cup without an official anthem. And this year, the BBC have enlisted Ms Banks, aka the South London RnB star (and one of the UK hip-hop's most important voices) to give the people want they want. She'll perform the official Fifa song: a reimagined version—with new lyrics by Banks—of Fort Minor's noughties track 'Remember The Name.'
The inspiring track 'developed, created and produced by women' features big names in women's football, including Dutch player Vivianne Miedema and England's Lucy Bronze - is part of the BBC's '' campaign, which they launched to change the conversation around how women's sport is viewed.
has been breaking the mould of what it means to be a female MC since she wrote her first rhymes aged eleven and never fails to cheerlead other women in the industry. The 25-year-old – who doesn’t use her first name Thyra (pronounced Ty-ra) – has toured with and , performed with Little Mix at the Brits and perfectly understands the struggles of working in a male-dominated industry.
We caught up with Ms Banks about her own connection with football and why this summer is going to be a moment for women in sport.
LouisvuittonShop: Why did you want to get involved in the World Cup?
Ms Banks: Since I was young, I have always been interested in football. I played a bit at the start of secondary school and my dad is a big football fan. But with this specific project, I was really intrigued by the women’s stories, they inspired me.
Have you met any of the players involved in the video?
I saw them all together, but I am really keen on meeting [England's star defender] Lucy Bronze properly soon. I read her story and how she came up through the footballing ranks is really amazing. I’ll be at the opening ceremony in Paris on 7 June and definitely plan to catch a few games, so hopefully we'll meet then.
Do you get a sense that this year there will be more people watching a Women's World Cup than ever?
The 'Change the Game' campaign is getting huge and it is definitely making a big impact. I think it is really going to help make the interest [in women's sport] more equal. My dad saw the trailer during half time at the weekend and he had no idea I was doing it because I never mentioned it, so now he’s more up for it than ever and will definitely be tuning in.
This summer could really make a difference in the visibility of women in sport, what do you want to achieve with your involvement?
I feel like it's our time in general. Women are really standing for what they believe in and going hard, fighting for equality. I think it is going to be a massive year and I am doing all that I can to encourage women. Soon I’m going to different schools with and giving out sports bras, as part of an initiative which is based on the statistic that 50% of women don't get into sports due to not having a sports bra or something comfortable to wear. This is giving girls the tools they need to start getting involved.
Do you see parallels in women in sport and your journey in the male dominated music and hip-hop scene
One hundred per cent. Sports is very male-dominated and I'm sure we face a lot of similar sexism. I feel like it takes such a strong character to go for what you want to go for, especially as women, and I think men need to understand we aren't trying to be like them. Sports and music are both such universal languages, they bring people together and are accepted all over the world.
'Remember The Name' is such a strong anthem, which other songs empower you?
I like , '' because it’s empowering for both women and men. Then I also love 'It Takes More'.
You have long been a champion of the fact women can take up more than one top spot in any industry. Do you feel the pitting of female rappers against each other is getting any better
It is definitely still happening, but I make sure to not fall into that trap myself. I just believe that there is an abundance of space for all of us, we all make money, we all have our fan bases and yes some we share, but everyone can succeed. The more women realise that, the more unity there will be. There doesn't have to be one top woman, there can be ten. The more people start understanding that, then we can all win.
Ms Banks’ ‘Remember The Name’ song is the soundtrack to the BBC’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup. Follow the World Cup live on the BBC across TV, radio and online from June 7.