Folarin Falana (born October 27, 1990), better known by his stage name Falz, is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter and actor. He began his career while in secondary school after forming a group called “The School Boys” with his friend before his professional career as a music artist began in 2009. Falz became more well-known after his song “Marry Me” featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade. 

He currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records. He released his debut album Wazup Guy in 2014. His second album Stories That Touch was released in 2015. He released 27 as his third studio album in 2017. On January 15, 2019, he released his fourth studio album Moral Instruction.

Early life and education

Falz was born in the local government area of Mushin, Lagos, to renowned lawyers and human right activists Femi and Funmi Falana. He was called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigeria Law School in Abuja. Falz completed his basic and secondary school education at St. Leo’s Catholic Primary School, Ikeja and Olashore International School, Osun State respectively. He is an alumnus of the University of Reading England, having graduated with an LLB honors degree in Law.

Career

2009–2013: Beginnings and Shakara: The Mixtape

Falz started music as a hobby while in secondary school. He formed a music group with a friend called “The School Boys”. In 2009, he released a compilation of some of his recordings as a mixtape titled Shakara: The Mixtape.

In 2011, Falz released a single titled “Waz Up Guy”, then released “High Class” and “Currency”, which gained him grounds in the Nigerian music industry.

2014–2016: Wazzup Guy, Stories That Touch and Chemistry EP

On January 2, 2014, Falz was listed in tooXclusive’s “Artistes To Watch in 2014”.

On 30 May 2014, Falz released his debut studio album titled Wazup Guy, which was critically acclaimed by music critics. In 2015, Falz was nominated in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards for his chart-topping single “Marry Me”. It won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated in the “Best Rap Act of The Year” and “Best New Act to Watch” categories. On 31 January 2015, he released a single titled “Ello Bae”, which won him a nomination in the “Best Street Hop Artiste of The Year” category at The Headies 2015.

On 3 November 2015, he announced the release of his second studio album, titled Stories That Touch, which was released on 17 November.

In 2016, Falz won “Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series” at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for his role as Segun in Funke Akindele’s TV series Jenifa’s Diary. In June 2016, Falz was voted the winner of the “Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act” category at the 2016 BET Awards. On October 27, 2016, Falz collaborated with Simi to release Chemistry, a seven-track EP solely produced by Sess. Falz had previously worked with Simi on the singles “Jamb Question” and “Soldier”.

2017-Present: 27 and acting career

On 27 October 2017, his 27th birthday, Falz released a new album titled 27 to celebrate the day. This was a surprise album, as it was not promoted before its release. It contained 17 tracks including hit singles like “Bhad Baddo Baddest”, “Wehdone sir”, and “Something light”. It featured prominent music acts like Davido, Olamide, Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Maleek Berry, Sir Dauda, Medikal, Terry Apala, and Ycee. The album was majorly produced by Sess as in-house producer, withand some tracks were done by Maleek Berry, and studio magic. The album did very well and it gained several awards and nominations, including a nomination for The Headies Award for Rap Album of the Year.

In May 2018, Falz released a music video titled “This Is Nigeria” which was inspired by Childish Gambino’s “This is America”. It highlighted Nigerian issues including corruption and bribery.

Months later, the song was banned by the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) claiming it was a vulgar song. When Falz was asked, he said: “If they ban this song, then I do not understand them because that song is definitely not a vulgar song,”. However, Falz sues NBC for N100 Million. 

On September 1, 2018, Falz won “Best Supporting Actor” at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for his role as Quam in Tope Oshin Ogun’s movie New Money, becoming the first Nigerian musician to have won the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards twice.

Artistry

Falz describes his style of music as “Wahzup music”. It is the fusion of comic lyrics with contemporary hip-hop in a faux Yoruba accent.

On 18 November 2014, Falz was ranked #9 on notJustOk’s list of “The 10 Most Gifted Rappers In Nigeria 2014”, stating that, “Falz’s ability to maintain a thought and get his point across in 16 barz while switching accents, infusing funny punchlines and delivering all of it in a way that makes the listener follow along is nothing short of impressive”.

Discography

Main article: Falz discography

Studio albums

  • Wazup Guy (2014)
  • Stories that Touch (2015)
  • 27 (2017)
  • Moral Instruction (2019)

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