Joy can be hard to find these days.
But music sensation Falana – a Western graduate dubbed Nigeria’s coolest music and fashion star – sees joy as a state of being, a matter of choice, and more than a matter of circumstance.
And that’s why her single joyWritten just two weeks before the 2020 pandemic lockdown worldwide, became an anthem for fans who wanted to hear a little hope.
His lyrics, a hymn of sunshine and optimism, are also a rallying cry for the tired.
“Baby it’s up to you
What you wanna do?/
Cause life from my point of view /
Everything revolves around gratitude. “
“The irony is that a lot of the time I don’t write these songs because I’m optimistic; it’s because I’m trying to get optimism, ”said Falana, BA’12. “It’s almost like trying to convince myself of a mindset. So it’s cathartic. It’s therapeutic for me. “
Now Falana – with the honey-rich voice that dances funky between fire and ice – is ready to release a seven-song EP with the title Rise.
Kinesiology to Music
Known as Victoria Falana while studying at Western, she graduated with a major in kinesiology and a minor in psychology.
A competitive soccer player who was sidelined by a torn anterior cruciate ligament shortly before arriving at Westerns, Falana diverted her energy from sport to her first love – composing and performing music – when she won and then judged at Western Idol- Talent competition was.
The wide variety of options in kinesiology, including exercise, law, injury, business, psychology, and marketing, are great preparation for a music career, she said. “I took a lot of these courses because I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced of what I (besides) wanted to be a singer. And all of these things … are applicable in the music field. “
During her time at Western, her influences and mentors also included various faculties: Janice Forsyth, kinesiology professor and researcher in indigenous sports; Jay Hodgson, Professor of Popular Music Studies at the Don Wright Faculty of Music; and emeritus professor of sociology Anton Allahar, who specializes in the economic and political sociology of the Caribbean.
Allahar introduced her to a music professor at the University of Havana, which led to her studying music in Cuba for a year: learning Spanish, tutoring English and groove on the island’s unique musical styles.
She speaks four languages and plays three instruments as well as talented songwriters and singers.
“Whether you know exactly where you are going, sometimes life just lets you go. You never know how studying kinesiology will connect you to your future music career. “
‘Alchemy’ of Influences
Falana was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in the Toronto area. Today she lives full time in Lagos and her musical style reflects the influences of a global career.
And she is gaining international recognition: a 2017 article in Vogue magazine called her Nigeria’s “coolest star in the front row”. And a current profile in Red Bull records describes Falana’s sound as “a precise alchemy of all its influences …. “
Producers from Toronto, Jamaica, the US, England and Nigeria have all contributed to the unique sounds and rhythms of the upcoming album Rise, She said.
“It is inspired by the empowerment of women and stories about love and self-discovery, hectic pace, freedom and joy.
“But sometimes it’s just so interesting to see how my experience fits in with the goal I’ve always hoped for, which is to make music that carries … songs that uplift you, that remind you who you are and Who you can aspire to be. “
She misses the stage, misses appearances in front of crowds, and hopes she can get back to traveling and performing live soon.
“It is very special to be in a room and to feel the reactions of people in real time, then to play out this energy and to interact with this energy. It feeds me in a way I can’t explain – that adrenaline rush that makes you feel bigger than you are and push your boundaries and boundaries. “