When Falana ‘ruled’ Kigali

Tuesday September 10 2019

falana

Musician Falana on stage , Photo by Andrew.I Kazibwe 

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Nigerian Afro Soul and fusion artist Falana was in Kigali, where she concluded her African tour, aptly dubbed Dubbed Falana One Chapter Tour.

At the August 30 gig at the Kigali Marriott Hotel, the Canadian-Nigerian act headlined a lively performance, unveiling what critics embraced as live African artistry.

It was a classic Falana outing as she made the most of the event organised by AfroGroov, Positive Productions and Access, leaving no doubt as to who ruled the stage.

With her music that blended Neo-soul, R&B, pop and Afro-beats, Falana had her audience enthralled with her smooth mellow sound.

The back-up in the form a fourman band further brought her mastery to life.

A smooth guitarist and percussionist, Falana did not have to try hard for her great vocals to both augment and enhance her presence.

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Not be forgotten are her dancing skills.

Through songs like Ride or Die, Give into You, Repeat, and To Bernard off “Chapter One,” which is her 2019 EP, Falana’s music is a transformation right from the vocals, instrumental arrangements and stage presence, propelling to the league of outstanding female artists.

According to the artist, Chapter One not only represents her and the definition of her sound but most importantly, positions her rightfully.

Her African Tour has been a four-city performance, starting in Lagos, Nigeria on the August 16, then Accra, Ghana on August 24.

Her Kigali performance on August 30 was the only East African stop before Abuja, Nigeria on September 6.

 

To Falana, Kigali is becoming a hub for African culture, and more artists are sure to visit and perform.

“With fashion and arts performances here, it is the place to be,” she adds.

Just like a tide that lifts every boat, the Kigali performance brought several artists to the stage.

Featured in this line-up were Rwandan rising acts who included guitarist and vocalist Deo Salvatore alongside Dakillo, Ngangi and Afro-soul vocalist Njonge.

“To me it is really very important to share experiences as African artists, just like our fore inspirational artists like Fela Kuti,” Falana explains.

Falana did a one-year music course in Havana, Cuba, leaving with exposure in terms of music, Spanish language and Arts culture.

There she recorded her first songs, off her 2014 EP entitled “Things Fall Together.” She did this while exploring and emerging with her own sound.

Falana’s sound is inspired right from her upbringing as she grew up listening to Lauryn Hill, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Florence and the Machine.

Her parents choice of music also influenced her. Here we are talking Fela, Lujadu Sisters, and Gospel Yoruba music.

It is also this diversity that her music into an intermix of African-world fusion.

“I’m working on the production of my new album, which I hope will be out soon,” Falana told Rwanda Today.

So, what is her record label? Well, she says, since she has been working on her sound and a unique craft, she didn’t think it imperative to signing up with any label.

This concert was one of the few arranged by AfroGroov and Positive Production this year, which are aimed at introducing the audience to tap into unique live acoustic and intimate performances by outstanding African and world artists.

Falana’s performance follows others like Neka Egbuna (Nigeria) to Somi (US), Emmy Award winning UK star Joss Stone among other artists, who have been hosted in Kigali.

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