By Azuka Ogujiuba
There are not many people that can boast of living on three continents, being able to speak four languages fluently, in addition to being a multi-talented creative artiste, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. Enter Victoria Falana: known simply by the mononym FALANA, the Cancer-born force of nature not only speaks English, French, Spanish and her native Yoruba, but also has taken her gifts with her to Toronto, Lagos and Havana.
FALANA started life as any other child, highly influenced by the things around them. She picked up vibes and rhythms from her Sunny Ade-obsessed mother during her happy childhood, along with the jams of the ‘90s she used to belt out at 3AM much to the displeasure of her siblings. Her defining moment with music, however, was the release of Lauryn Hill’s first and only album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. She listened to the album from beginning to end all in one sitting, thus began the FALANA we know today. Along with Lauryn Hill came Nina Simone, Etta James, Amy Winehouse and Sade, in addition to Fela and King Sunny Ade; laying a foundation for a fusion of diverse, unique sounds that can be difficult to categorise. She knows she’s not your regular afro-beat musician, and you might be tempted to call her jazz or soul artiste or even a drummer girl. While she’s neither of the two, but she’s fine with people labeling her however they wanted.
After leaving Nigeria, moving to Canada and spending sometime in Cuba, FALANA has made her way back to where it all began. In a series of concerts, she brings FALANA UNCOVER’D to the Nigerian market with the vision to revolutionise the concert experience in Nigeria. Opening performance for Asa in Concert and performing at a recent Felabration, FALANA is not a completely new face to the alternate Nigerian music scene. With her own concert series, however, she has been pushing the envelope for what a live performance can be in Nigeria by challenging the norms with regards to the way audiences received live music.
Currently working on her first full album, FALANA brings the audience her own original songs, as well as covers of popular songs with a refreshing spin and her unique vocal delivery. The next pop up concert in the FALANA UNCOVER’D live show series came up yesterday, August 26th at Alara Lagos.