Talking About Joy And Music with Rising Artist Falana

Beginning an exciting new chapter in her musical journey; earlier this year, Nigerian-Canadian singer-songwriter Falana delivered her brand new single and first release of the year, JoyShowcasing the latest example of her unique and eclectic genre-blending artistry, incorporating elements of soul, pop, R&B and Afrobeat; Joy brings us exactly that – an enchanting and vibrant sonic piece of joy and happiness to get us through these crazy times. Alongside the single, she also followed up the release with some stunning new visuals that take viewers on an uplifting and heartfelt journey. Firmly placing her stamp on the music industry; to delve deeper into Falana, her music, and who she is as a person and artist, she recently released her brand new short documentary Life from my Point of View that shares and details her personal and professional story – an absolute must watch. With the release of her new single, we sat down with Falana to talk all about her music, career and journey so far. So make sure to keep reading for the full interview below. 

BM: Firstly, how are you? Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey in music so far?

FALANA: I am great. I’ve been feeling really inspired lately, so spending lots of time writing since I can’t tour yet. My journey has definitely not been dull. I recently released a short documentary called “Life from my Point of View” that shares pieces of my personal and musical story. 

BM: How would you best describe your artistic sound and style?

FALANA: I think my sounds hovers. Elements of Afrobeat, RnB, Soul, and Pop. I am not too precious about fitting neatly in a category.  

BM: Emerging onto the music scene in 2014 with the release of your debut EP Things Fall Together; over the past several years, what would you says is your proudest or most significant musical or career achievement to date?

FALANA: My most significant moment was the first time I got paid to sing! It was an acoustic set in a random bar, and the audience were so receptive. It was the first time I felt like professional artist, and I remember thinking to myself, “okay…I can do this.”  

BM: With an ever growing and expanding discography; for those who are just discovering you and your music, what would you say is the first song they should listen to, to get a sense of who you are as a person and artist?

FALANA: I would definitely say Joy because it’s the best taste of the artist I am now, and where I am going sonically and creatively.  

BM: Back this year with another incredible release, last month, you just released your latest new single Joy. What was the inspiration and story behind the track?

FALANA: The song feels almost prophetic in a way, because I wrote the song literally one week before the entire world went into a lockdown. 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 just remember listening to this Jamaican playlist thinking, “life is too short to not to be grateful for every single damn day”. So I just felt like I needed to channel that energy into a song. I went into a session with a good friend and songwriter Omolara Ayodele, and we penned the lyrics to the song. 

BM: A really stunning and captivating track, Joy has a really vibrant and beautiful instrumentation. What was the creative process behind the sonic composition?

FALANA: I had a direction that I wanted to go with sonically which I shared with KNG BNJMN. He is a dope Jamaican Canadian producer who is super in tune with blending genres. So we were building from Afrobeat, but he really captured the soul and RnB elements. Later we added additional hi-life feeling guitars in Lagos to just take the track to the next level. 

BM: How would you say Joy fits into your existing sonic collection, and the direction you want to take you music in next?

FALANA: Joy is the beginning of a new chapter. The energy in my new EP and Album is contemporary and rhythmic. I think I have found a perfect balance of all the different genres and influences I pull from, and come into a sound that is very much my own.

BM: You’re also just about to release a brand new music video to accompany the track. With such a cool visual, what was the concept behind it, and how did you find the filming process during these crazy times. 

FALANA: We shot the video in Portmore, Jamaica. I had never been there before, but the energy of the entire crew I was working with an amazing. It definitely was a challenge navigating the planning with all the Covid protocol. We actually almost got rained out, but rain held up and I think that the overcast sky ended up adding the most amazing aesthetic to the visuals.

We wanted the video to tell a story and the vibe and energy of the music video to embody JOY the feeling. So we told the story of a little boy who sell balloons, and his perseverance to deliver them to a young couple in love. The balloons were in the original treatment from the director Mykal Cushnie and we loved the symbolism of the balloons and how it captured the feeling of Joy. Joy is light, and easy like balloons you could say. The song is up-tempo, so I wanted that energy to also be captured with movement. So the dancers in Jamaica had fun creating choreography with both afro and dancehall influences. Whilst I, in Canada, worked with Mekelah Minott, an amazing Toronto based dancer, to bring my own vibe and movement ideas to life in the video.

BM: What is your favourite part of the creative process when making music and putting out a new release?

FALANA: My favourite part is hearing the final mix of a song just before it is released. It feels like such a milestone every time. 

BM: What can we expect from you next?

FALANA: I have a new EP coming out this year, as well as a debut album which I am really excited about. 

For more on Falana, keep up with her on all her socials @falanamusic

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