Folarin Falana, known best as Falz aka Falz the Bahd Guy, is an artiste whose mix of talent and skill have set him apart on the continent. The Nigerian native has an unbound passion for entertainment that has seen him drop his legal profession for a shot at stardom. He is noted for his songs Soft Work, Marry Me that featured Poe and Yemi Alade, and Bahd Baddo Baddest featuring Olamide and Davido.
The rapper was also part of Coke Studio Africa 2017, where he collaborated with Uganda’s Bebe Cool. This is his second time on the project.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. It bridges the gap between African artistes and other countries. I think that’s a great idea,” he says.
He found “Global Fusion Edition”, where many artistes worked together, being an interesting atmosphere. As long as he gets invited back to the project, he will always come back, he said, because he believes in collaboration.
Falz has created a different approach to making himself noticeable in the world of entertainment.
“My brand is a very visual one. I try to tell stories with my music, stuff that you can easily relate to, so my videos need to translate these messages. They show the spirit of the music, so I pay a lot of attention to make sure the art is translated the way I need it to be,” he says.
So what has made Nigerian music to capture the world that more attention is being paid to African-type music now?
“The music is original, unique, and has ingenuity. I think those are the attractive ingredients,” he says.
The universality of music, understanding melodies and feeling the beat has made the Nigerian musical culture to overcome all barriers, including language, to get to the places it has. To Falz, music is more than language, it’s spiritual. His music is inspired by things and people he comes across, and life in general.
Falz is also a comedian. He was the Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series winner at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for his role as Segun in Funke Akindele’s TV series Jenifa’s Diary. He has an alter ego he calls Broda Taju that he brings out from time to time in his videos on his social media pages and in his music videos.
The genesis of his comedic side was school, where he would make fun of other pupils and teachers. He developed the character then. He feels fulfilled doing both music and comedy and enjoys the rewards from each.
“Comedy has always been a part of my brand. Even in the music, there’s a lot of comedy. I do short videos online just to keep my fans entertained or bring them closer to me. I have featured in a lot of films as well,” says Falz.
Falz is also a barrister. After graduating with an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Reading, he was called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigeria Law School in Abuja. His father, Femi Falana, is a Nigerian human right activist and lawyer.
“You can’t be in active practice and do music at the same time. It is tough to juggle both well. I’m actually certified to practice in Nigeria. I had to ease my parents into the decision to become an entertainer. My parents already knew I was doing music, but just as something that I enjoyed doing because I was studying at the time. After attaining my qualifications, I started pursuing it seriously, and at some point, I had to make that decision to go into it full-time. It wasn’t a case of breaking it to them at once, and they have been very supportive since ” he says.
Falz was appreciative of having been to Maasai Mara on a previous visit, although he came in when the weather had caused the migration of the most animals to Tanzania. His only regret was not being able to see as many animals as he had hoped to. He had the opportunity to dance with the Maasai, and had a lot of fun doing it. He also says the Kenyan nightlife is as vibrant as other places he’s been around the world, and that Kenyans like to party hard.
In his free time, Falz plays football as a midfielder. It’s a sport he’s been playing since he was a child. He could have pursued it further but his parents w