Azealia Amanda Banks (/əˈziːliə/ born May 31, 1991) is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Banks pursued an interest in musical theatre at a young age, studying at the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts before dropping out to focus on her musical career. In late 2008, she adopted the pseudonym "Miss Bank$", and began releasing music through MySpace, eventually being signed to XL Recordings at age 17. After signing a recording contract with Interscope and Polydor Records, Banks came to prominence by topping NME's Cool List in 2011 and finishing third in the Sound of 2012. Her debut single "212", first extended play 1991 (2012), and first mixtape Fantasea (2012) received critical acclaim. Banks' debut studio album Broke with Expensive Taste (2014) experienced several delays since its initial announcement before being unexpectedly released to online music stores. She will make her acting debut as star of the musical drama film Coco, directed by RZA.