5 Minutes With Falana
Falana has an intriguing and impressive sound, style and stage presence which I witnessed at the Asa Live in Concert earlier this year. Born to Nigerian parents, Falana was raised in Brampton, Canada and found her sound in her home. With a wide span of musical influences, Falana has a rich and amazing sound.
Hi Falana. Tell us about yourself
I am a musician, creative, singer and a cancer (zodiac sign). I have an obsession/ passion for languages as well.
Tell us about your musical journey in Havana.
I was fortunate to be able to study and perform with very talented musicians in different genres and to explore different types of rhythms as well, which had a lot of links to the Nigerian sound, with Yoruba roots specifically. As a creative, one of the best things you can do is to really put yourself in a different environment and see what comes out of you. My first project, Things Fall Together, an EP was recorded in Cuba.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe it as a fusion of different sounds. For example, I enjoy and love jazz music but I’m not a jazz musician but there are jazz elements in my music. The first album I listened to was Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation and then her MTV unplugged album. I have always enjoyed rhythm, and I have been a percussionist from when I was young so I’ve always enjoyed music.
Things Fall Together? Things fall apart! Is there a connection behind the album and book title?
Things Fall Together was at a time when I moved to Cuba, I didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language, and then somehow I met a lady in a park who introduced me to someone else, who then introduced me to my producer. So it was just me acknowledging how things just fell into place, so that’s the real answer.
Can we say that art has inspired your eccentric look?
(Laughs) This is the simplest and realest version of me, it is not about me being artsy, it’s about being me and being comfortable. I don’t leave my house like this (points to hair) and feel uncomfortable; I leave like this and feel all right. For me this just happened, I just got bobby pins one day and I styled it, and it just stuck.
‘I wanna be her when I grow up’; you quoted a picture of Sade Adu saying that. How does she inspire you?
Sade’s music is authentic and effortless, when she was making her music she wasn’t trying to be like anything else. Her music transcends generations and that is something that I want for myself and that is why I appreciate her music.
How would you say Lagosians have responded to your music post performances at Afropolitan Vibes, Asa Live in concert and the likes?
I have gotten great responses from people in different circles. I think one of the most valuable things is, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you are just yourself and you are original and relatable, people will identify with it and that has been my response so far.
Would you say with certainty that your music is here to stay in the Nigerian market?
What should we expect in the nearest future?
My pop-up concerts, Falana Uncover’d and my cover videos. I am really excited about everything. It is just another way to share pieces of my story and my music, but through the narrative of other songs from my childhood and artists that really influence me and really admire. Of course I am working on a new album, I can’t tell you the name yet but it is coming.