By Krystle Hewitt | Brampton Guardian
Nigerian-Canadian singer-songwriter, Falana, is fresh from the success of her sophomore EP ‘Rising’ and she’s being recognized for her music by the SOCAN Foundation. She’s among five recipients of this year’s SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards.
She’s grateful to be recognized for a project that she says solidified her voice as a songwriter.
“I have been honoured with this award as a Black songwriter in all of Canada. That’s a pretty big deal. And it’s really encouraging because as songwriters, we have the highest heights we want to achieve, and this was just a really timely award,” said Falana in a video call from London.
The Nigerian-Canadian singer-songwriter splits her time between Brampton where she was raised, Lagos and London. She can’t be pinned down to one city, and that’s done by design, she says. Her globe-trotting lifestyle is intrinsic to carving out a sound that doesn’t quite fit a single genre. It’s a mix of Afrobeat, soul, pop and R&B, with tracks produced in several different cities including Brampton, but as she explains still sonically cohesive.
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Whenever she’s asked to describe her music, Falana says she has a go-to joke.
“It’s like if Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse had a baby and the baby was born in Lagos, Nigeria. That’s me,” she said. “I’m very intentional with my lyrics. I like to have a message but the vibe of the music is also really strong.”
She credits growing up in Brampton and her time at Turner Fenton Secondary School where she was actively involved in the school’s culture festival as one of the ways she developed an international mindset.
Falana also says the city is a place that fosters talent.
“Brampton is an incubator. In terms of Brampton being a city for building talent, I think there’s a lot of outlets,” said Falana. “I think once you’re a city that creates opportunities for creativity, and they put money into it, naturally, you’re going to get talent.”
Her advice for other young artists is not to be ruled by fear and remember to have fun and enjoy the process.
“Be very aware of when fear is driving your decisions and then try your best to ignore it and overcome it because it’s in the face of fear that you see the most growth, that you see the most opportunities. I wouldn’t be where I am receiving the SOCAN award if I was living off fear because I wouldn’t have taken all the many risks that I’ve taken.”