Falana uncovered:The rising of a star
Describing herself simply as a musician, singer, artiste and a cancer (star sign), Falana is a lover of languages and musical instruments as well, laughingly confessing that she plays different types of instruments, which she believes “helps the creative process of writing music.”
This upcoming star reveals that the musical journey has been great so far. “If you do what comes naturally to you as a musician and you are yourself, people would see your music as different and authentic. I have had a lot of good feedback from different age ranges and groups of people about my music and it fills a lot of different spaces in people; I am really excited about that.”
Performing for the first time ever in Nigeria two years ago in 2014 at the Afropolitan Vibes held in Freedom Park in Lagos, alongside Yemi Alade, and General Pype, she describes the experience as fun and unreal. “I think people like music that is different, because anything different calls your attention. The response was really positive I must say. A lot of people accepted and appreciated my music, it was special. ”
Describing her music as influences and mixtures of Jazz, Soul, Rhythm and percussion and even poetry, Falana believes that they all come together to make up her music and does not belong to any particular genre. “It is very difficult for me to define my music and I am okay with what anyone wants to call it, I would just create it and it would fit wherever it fits.” She says she gets her musical inspiration from everyday life adding that some of the best songs are stories that everyone can relate with because they are usually experiences people have gone through. “As an artiste, this is the best way to create music that people would enjoy because they would be able to relate to what you are saying.”
On Nigerian artistes she looks up to and inspire her, she says, “I love Cobhams. I have told him and he is aware that he is someone I have utmost respect for and admire. He is an amazing musician, writer, composer and an all round amazing artiste. He is someone I really look up to. Seun and Femi Kuti fall in this category too, I really respect what they are doing: having their own sound, carrying on a legacy whilst still being unique in their own right is something that is important to me and I appreciate as well. I appreciate anyone who is different because it is very difficult to be that, to think outside the box. It is usually easier to do what every other person is doing, to follow the majority and anyone who is authentically different, I respect them a lot for that.”
On her dream collaborations with fellow artistes in the Nigerian entertainment industry, she says she would love to work with Cobhams, Brymo and Bez while Blitz the Ambassador, Black Coffee and Sia would be her dream international collaborations. Falana admits that her days usually comprises of rehearsals, writing and studio sessions, as she writes her music herself. A believer of self-maintenance, she says she exercises daily and takes care of her voice, reads widely and does not watch television.
Her first project which was an EP of five songs titled ‘Things Fall Together”, was recorded in Cuba and apart from a Spanish song on it, the upcoming songstress says she wrote all the songs herself. She further reveals that her latest project is ‘Falana Uncovered’- a series of pop up concerts here in Nigeria, where she would ‘share a part of myself that audiences have never seen before.’ She says the idea behind the concert was to push herself to be more creative in terms of live music and live performance that pushes beyond just playing a song or listening to the song on a CD.
Apart from live concerts and performances, Falana has also done cover videos of popular classical songs, which she hopes to release soonest. However, one of the covers have been released; Lady, a Fela original, which she says she performed at Felabration last year… fusing it with the Cajon drum, she admits that she strived to give it her own flavor whilst still paying tribute to the original author.
Falana says she is happy concerning the positive feedback she has gotten so far which has cut across age, colour and nationality and this has encouraged her to do even more. She hopes to connect with many more people with her music and says she is never more satisfied than when people tell her that her music touched, influenced or uplifted them. ‘Being able to do these is powerful and as an artiste, this is my ultimate goal. I want to touch people with my music not only in Nigeria but all over the world as well. Creating music that can relate with different people in different spaces is a challenge but is one that I am looking forward to.”
Falana hopes to break into the international market and she is definitely on the right path with live performances, shows and festivals in Cuba, Canada and Denmark in the last couple of years. She says she hopes to explore and conquer places like Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and the United States of America in the nearest future and take her music as far as it can go. “The goal of every artiste is to be known all over the world. In the next five years career wise, I see another album, I see myself touring not only African countries but other continents as well, travelling with my music: this is what I envision for myself and my music.”