Falana is a breath of fresh air. The power of emotional intuition, awareness, and curiosity fuel her every musical pursuit. What perhaps makes her stand out the most, is the honest intention with which she imagines and creates from. Staying true to her identity throughout her evolution has made Falana a confident musician who draws from the expansive observations of her ever-changing environment. Carrying the true essence of a chameleon, her music reflects her adaptive personality, someone who has learned how to not only embrace change, but be the embodiment of the positivity that arises from it. Falana took a humble pause to speak with SPIN about songwriting, performing at the Global Citizen Prize Dinner in London, upcoming projects and more.
Who is Falana and how did you come to life?
I think the essence of who I am has always been there. I’m just a girl who loves to sing, and one day woke up with enough courage to dedicate her life to writing songs! lol
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
Sonically, I have been searching for something that felt like my voice! I never felt fully R&B or Afrobeat, or fully Soul, or fully Pop. So I had to cut and paste my sonic. I have travelled a lot searching for my sound, almost like finding pieces to a puzzle. Recording my EP and debut album I’ve worked and collaborated in Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, US, Sweden, and the UK. This is the first project where I feel like everything from my past and present have really clicked creatively. It was not as straight forward for me, but it’s also an exciting and beautiful story. So to directly answer your questions: Sonic influences – Sade, Lauryn Hill, Sia, FelaStyle influences – Zoe Kravitz, Naomi Sims, Social influences – Maya Angelou and her discipline and intention, Toni Morrison and her eloquence, Kate Bush creativity, softness and openness
What does your typical songwriting/production process look like? Is there a set formula or does it consistently evolve and shape-shift along with your ideas?
My songwriting and production process is always evolving, and I love it. I can start writing a song on guitar or piano, and then flesh it out from there. When I am in the studio with another producer or songwriter, we come together to talk about how we feel, what’s on our minds and what we want to write about. I also get instrumentals sent to me from producers around the world, and I can write to them and build them out from there.
Was there a definitive turning point in your career? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
Well, I think it was when I was when I performed at the Global Citizen Prize Dinner in London 2019, in front of some of the most influential musicians, politicians, activists, actors and more! That night, I got a standing ovation from performing an acoustic version of a song I had just finished writing that day. I remember feeling inside me, the power of my voice and song together and that there really are great things ahead of me!
In what ways do you wish to inspire up and coming artists/producers that are aiming to get their creative work out into the world?
I would love to just inspire people to be as true to themselves as much as they can! The industry (for the most part) wants to bend you to fit a genre, a wave or into something that they already understand. That there will be times when compromise helps you move ahead, but if you have a vision, and it’s worth fighting for…you should fight for it!
As we’re coming through the other side of the longest & darkest tunnel, how are you planning to propel your career forward in 2021?
I am getting ready to release an EP to follow my last single Joy! I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, REALLY looking forward to getting on stage again and of course, going on tour.
Is there anything on the horizon that you can share with us?
CHAPTER TWO, is the name of the EP, and it is coming out in July!
Take a chance now and manifest something: ______.
I have already written my Grammy acceptance speech!
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
My quote of the day: No one gets to write your story but you!
Check out Falana’s exclusive live session below. For more SPIN Sessions, head over to SPIN TV.