+ floats Bahd Guys Records
Folarin Falana, is a rapper and also the son of renowned and fiery Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana. Folarin Falana, who is the only son, is also known as Falz the Bahd Guy. He runs a self-owned independent record label, Bahd Guys Records.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with Falz and he told us about his music career, how he grew up and also how he juggles his music career with his Law practice.
Who is Falz, the bad guy?
Falz the bad guy is an artiste an entertainer, a rapper and a musician.
How did the journey into music begin?
I started music way back in secondary school. A friend of mine used to write rap lyrics and I thought it was nice, so we joined him and we formed a little group. We were called the School Boys. It is something that I enjoy doing, so since then I’ve not stopped.
Being the son of a renowned and strict lawyer, Femi Falana, how supportive was he when you were starting up your music career?
He appears to be a very strict man on the outside, but he is actually a liberal minded individual. So, he was like do whatever you want to do. I will always support you. He was never against my music, for the fact that I went to the Law school, I qualified as a barrister and I came out in flying colours.
I think he was impressed with that and that added to the level of support he gave me. He was like if you have done that you can as well do whatever you want to do.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was fun. I was born into a family of three children. I have two sisters, one older, one younger. I schooled in Osun State, Olasore International School. It was a boarding school, so I used to live there (laughs). After that, I went to England, The University of Reading. I came back to Nigeria. I was at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. So, growing up was a bit of different environments.
At what point did you discover you have this talent?
I think it was back in secondary school. Then it wasn’t so serious because we just wrote short choruses and rap. The way people reacted to it was obvious they saw something in me. That was when I realized this was something I needed to explore.
How do you juggle being a barrister and a rapper?
I’m still a practicing barrister. I still go to court. I keep that part of me alive, and at the same time music is a passion. After going to school and qualifying as a barrister, I just wanted to do music because I derive so much pleasure from it, that’s why I kept on writing songs and developing myself. So, I keep both sides of me alive. A lot of people don’t understand how I do it (laughs).
Do you see yourself leaving law practice to face your music career fully?
There is a possibility (laughs) but for now, I’m still a practicing barrister.
Why did you choose rap?
It was just what I found out I was good at. I am one of those artistes that started as choristers (laughs). I was just somewhere in the congregation.
What have you achieved as far as your music career goes?
In 2009, I released a mixtape which was just a compilation of what I had been recording. That was just to get my name out there and get a little recognition. After that, I have released about five singles and they have done well on radio and shot a couple of videos. They’ve done well on TV as well.
What record label are you signed on to?
I am singed to my own label, called Bahdguys Records.
How did you come about the name, Falz the Bahdguy?
Falz is just a short form of my surname. It is something my friends called me, way back in secondary school. The Bahdguy is just a title. It just came along and it sounded good so it stuck. At the same time, it’s different, its spelt differently so it stands for something, Brilliant and Highly Distinct (Bahd) that’s what I am, that’s what I represent (laughs).
Would you be doing a collabo?
I am expecting to get a few collaboration. It’s nice to have variety to spice the album and also show that there can be different sides to you and you can work with other artistes.
So far what has been the best moment in your music career?
I can’t really pinpoint one moment, but the best moments have been performing at some of the biggest show, and getting great response from the crowd. Those moments keep me going.
I think it was in 2010. I had a performance at Leed University in the UK. They had an event, so I had to perform. It was supposed to be a fashion show. I got on stage and everything just went wrong. The performance was terrible. It was the worst performance I have ever had and one of the nasty moments in my career.
What’s your projection for 2014?
2014 would be a big year for me with the release of my album. I’m also looking at putting out a few more videos and singles after the album. 2014 would be a very busy year. I hope it becomes a successful year.
What do you think about the music industry now?
The Nigerian music industry has a lot of potentials now and it is a developing industry. It is thriving very well, especially abroad. A lot of people are now looking up to Nigerian music and recognizing that Nigerian music is very good.
As a lawyer in practice, what’s your take on the anti-gay law?
A lot of people are saying it is very discriminatory and that people should be left alone to do what they want to do. I think it is very unnecessary at the moment. There are a lot of things to be legislated. There are bigger concerns we have as a country.
This shouldn’t be what we should be focusing on at this point in time. As a lawyer, I believe everyone has a right to practice whatever is his desire but if a country has decided to make a certain act illegal, then you have to abide by the rule. I guess Nigeria has put a stand on that, I personally don’t discriminate based on whatever people choose to practice.
So, if you see two gay people what will you tell them?
(Laughs) I’ll report to the police.
Where do you see Falz the bahdguy in five years?
In five years, I hope to be an internationally renowned superstar.
– TINUOLA JOSEPH