From a young age, music creative Falana leaned into music to makes sense of and build bridges between her Nigerian Yoruba roots and the Western music she was surrounded by growing up in Toronto.
After a period studying Kinesiology (the science of human body movement), she returned to Nigeria, the birthplace of her parents. While in Lagos, she released a self produced EP titled “Chapter One.” Falana followed up in 2019 with the “Chapter One Tour,” which included stops in multiple Nigerian cities as well as Ghana, Rwanda and Abuja.
Last year in March just before the world was stopped in its tracks by COVID-19, Falana began working on “Joy,” an uplifting track celebrating gratefulness and intention.
In an email exchange with Falana we discussed the irony of “Joy,” Nigerian designers worth knowing and her view on 2021 three months in.
Snobette: In your biography, you mentioned being more bold in your art and maturing as an artist. Are there any practices you have built in your life that have facilitated that process?
Falana: “I have embraced experimenting and trying new things and also trusting and following my intuition.”
Snobette: What state of mind were you in when you wrote “Joy”?
Falana: “‘Joy’ was written literally one week before the entire world went into a lockdown.
“It’s crazy thinking about it in 2021 because the song almost feels prophetic now. I went into a session with a good friend and songwriter Omolara Ayodele, and we penned the lyrics. I remember sitting at GeeJam Studios in Jamaica, reflecting on how far I had come as an artist and as a person and just feeling so grateful for life.
“I was sitting eating porridge before my session, and I remember listening to this Jamaican playlist thinking, ‘Life is too short to not be grateful for every single damn day.’ So I just felt like I needed to channel that energy into a song. I think because both Omolara and I had recently overcome some personal challenges, it was really easy to lean into those experiences and birth the lyrics.”
Snobette: What place does style and fashion play in your artistry? Are there any local designers who should be on our radar?
Falana: “Style, fashion, music and art have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time. Pop culture and music wouldn’t be what it is without fashion and vice versa.
“I love to play with colors, textures and shapes on stage and in music videos. I get to create an extension of my music and sound visually with the way I dress and I love it.
There are so many West African designers that I love: Andrea Iyamah, Orange Culture, Iamisigo, Tongoro, Lisa Folawiyo, Emmy Kasbit to name a few.”
Snobette: Three months in, what does 2021 feel like for you?
Falana: “Well, it already feels better than 2020 so honestly that is good enough for me. I am looking up and counting my blessings!”
Enjoy the visual for “Joy” below.