‘Joy’ Review: Falana captures the imagination with a track that exudes both hope and optimism



“She caught my attention with her unique, sprawling song structures and melding of soul, jazz, pop and afrobeats.” - The Independent

“Nigeria’s coolest front row star.” - Vogue

Falana - Joy

Falana gained notable traction with her self-produced EP ‘Chapter One’. The Canadian-Nigerian singer-songwriter subsequently embarked on adventures that took her to Africa, North America, Europe and the Caribbean to work on new material. It was a process of self-discovery, which revealed new layers to her songwriting. She now shares the first taste of those sessions with the release of the single ‘Joy’.

‘Joy’ marks the first release in a series of singles from various global artists to be released on Red Bull Records. Dedicated to discovering and showcasing talent on an international scale, Falana is the latest ground-breaking artist to partner with the label.

The song itself moves to embody a woman of whom has fully embraced every facet of the statement “Glass Half full” with remarks towards trials and tribulation steadily brushed off with the tracks rallying cry of “I’ll keep it moving”. These ideas are echoed further on within the track where she gives high levels of praise to her spiritual faith and kind spirit for her joyous and upbeat frame of mind “Look Look up oh / I count my blessings / No Stress No Stress / I've got pure intentions”. Sonically the track moves to incorporate an array of traditional African percussion and finely spreads this amid an uptempo bass pattern and a high pitched guitar melody to perfectly reflect the optimistic and positive themes present within the lyricism.

On reflection Falana said the following about the song “Over the last ten months, the song’s sentiment surfaces all the time, whether it’s in everyday conversation, on the news or at social media. It feels like the song was birthed right at the time that the world needed it.”

The track was written with fellow singer-songwriter Omolara Ayodele and producer KINGBNJMN (Future, DJ Snake) at the legendary Geejam Studios in Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Falana returned to Jamaica to film the song’s video with director Mykal Cushnie, whose culture-centric narrative storytelling has resulted in collaborations with Popcaan, Sean Paul and Damian Marley. As well as capturing some of Port Antonio’s striking natural beauty, the video also shows how her style and signature braid pom-poms are an extension of her artistry.

On the video itself Falana stated “I think the video is such a beautiful visual representation of ‘Joy’, the song and the feeling. The energy on set matched the song, and I was so grateful for that.”