Image-makers the world over, know there is a transformative power in fashion, one that becomes even more obvious when linked to music. Look to some of the more drastic style transformations of our generation – from Rihanna to Solange, Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga, we see an inevitable link between the refinement of their personal style (stylist aided or not) to their rise in prominence, (whilst there is obviously another link – musical success = more money = more of an overall budget = better clothes and stylists.) Style is still an undeniable factor in this complex formula. Whether it’s the subtle 90’s Shabba Ranks look of Burna Boy circa his debut or Rihanna’s visual announcement that she’d gone bad – the language of style is a visceral part of the way we experience the world’s biggest stars.
And Falana, the budding Nigerian-Canadian music star is not only clearly aware of this, but has masterfully brought her look in line with her sound in a way young artists rarely do – the common thread runs consistently through her style, sound and performance, unifying the brand nicely. Her distinctive hair, beauty look (she is arguably the queen of the natural ‘no makeup makeup look) is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this Vogue-approved music star.
Honing her sound in Cuba which she describes as “Soul Fusion”, her own blend of jazz, soul, afrobeat, and R&B. Falana music is heartfelt yet genre-defying. With her powerful songwriting we can easily see her collaborating with artistes like Black Coffee, who she has mentioned she’d like to work with in the past.
Part of her appeal is her down-to-the-bone authenticity, Falana doesn’t sound like anyone else because she isn’t trying to be like anyone else. Meet the singer-songwriter.
…I don’t think I believe in big breaks. I believe in dedication and consistency.
What’s Next For Her Music
My album will be out sooner than you know. I promise I am probably more excited than anyone. It is been a process, and I am already very excited to share. Stay tuned.
Her First Big Break
I don’t think I believe in big breaks. I believe in dedication and consistency. It will never be one opportunity or one decision that makes or breaks your career. It is a series of great decisions, amazing opportunities, hard work, and the occasional mistake, that will take you to where you to want to go.
Her Biggest Performances To Date
My most important performances for me, were the series of Pop-Up Concerts I did in Lagos in 2016. It was a fun way to curate intimate concerts, while also exploring unconventional concert spaces around the city. From Iamisigo Showroom, to CCA Yaba, to Alara to City Hall – I really wanted to create a world and invite audiences into it. Not only with my music, but also with the unique venues and I think we achieved that. I was performing less in 2017 because the album recording process just demanded that, but I am very excited to get on stage again this year!
How She Got Into Music
That answer for me is quite simple: I have been singing and musical since I was young. We don’t choose our gifts, we just choose whether or not (and how much) to indulge them.
Her Performance Style
Performance is just as important to my craft as writing music. I am also very aware that on stage I am curating an energy through my music, and through my presence that the audience will feed off of. So it’s important for me to be confident in the stories I am telling and make sure I am resonating my own creative truth. The best way for me to do that is to let myself go, and flow. I think THAT is what makes for an amazing performance (outside of just raw mesmerizing talent). There is not much more to it than that.
How She Chills Out
I am generally always thinking about music haha! I love what I do! I do enjoy reading, and spending time with people I love. I am a homebody at heart, so relaxing in the company of family and friends is something that always recharges me.
Her Personal Style
I am essentially a tomboy that likes to wear dresses and high heels sometimes. I definitely believe in comfort, and not only in the physical sense. I became very comfortable in my skin early on, and never really wanted or needed to fit in. So I wear, (and style my hair) in a way that makes me feel like myself. I definitely understand that fashion is such a powerful form of self-expression, but I wouldn’t say I am particularly fixated on how people will perceive me, and rather more concerned with how what I am wearing makes ME feel!
I suppose music has always been my way of coping, reflecting and healing.
What Inspires Her
My music will always be a blend of my imagination and all the sounds, and experiences (both musical and personal) that I’ve have had in my life. I grew up listening to King Sunny Ade, Yinka Ayefele, and Fela Kuti (my parents were fans). But I listened to a lot of Soul sounds growing up, both vintage and contemporary (Etta James, Duke Ellington, Lauryn Hill, Sade, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse). I also love jazz and absolutely adore playing around with percussion and rhythm. I spent a year living, studying and recording music in Havana, Cuba. All these influences just come out when I am writing. Sometimes I surprise myself in the studio!
What inspires me to write? …Obstacles, heartbreak, and tough lessons. I find lately I write music a lot when I am struggling through something. I suppose music has always been my way of coping, reflecting and healing.
How Her Style Has Evolved
Over time, I have learned to have more fun with my style. I just like to explore all the ways I can naturally express myself through what I wear. I am also falling in love with so many amazing Nigerian designers who are really raising the bar for fashion not only at home, but internationally as well.
Where We Can Find Falana
I would say next time a have a concert, make sure you check it out! Otherwise, my website is a great place to start www.falanamusic.com.