Put aside the lazy comparisons to Florence + The Machine: Danish-born Fallulah is determined to carve her own name into industry stone – and her debut album delivers the goods. Wonderland scored an exclusive download off The Black Cat Neighbourhood from her.
You’re originally from Copenhagen but now live in New York – how have both places defined you as a musician?
Denmark is where I’ve built my career from, and I’ve been lucky to feel greatly supported by my fans here. New York was the place where I realised my true calling. The music just completely took over my mind. The city really helped me define who I am as a person.
Tell us about your album.
The Black Cat Neighbourhood is an extremely personal album. A lot of emotions are in the songs, and making the album was my way of breaking free from this person I didn’t want to be. I always felt different inside from what I allowed people to see.
You moved to New York to study dance and your father is a choreographer. Is dance still a big part of your life or have your priorities changed since becoming a musician?
I knew I had to make a choice between dancing and being a singer-songwriter, and it was an easy one. I wanted to be the creator, the storyteller and the judge of me. As a writer I have a direct way to communicate with a lot of people. When I was a dancer it often felt like I was always aiming for certain goals, instead of enjoying the process, and would interpret other people’s ideas and thoughts.
You say that your album is you telling stories. Is songwriting your way of escapism?
Strangely enough I’ve just written a song for my next record with the working title ‘Escapism’. Songwriting to me is the complete opposite of escapism. It’s about going into my feelings, especially the uncomfortable ones, and exploring what’s in there.
Your sound has a range of distinctive melodies, what’s been your inspiration?
The stories have been my main source of inspiration. They contain different moods, and give me different visual ideas, and I produce them so that it all fist together. I can be hit by a mood, and I’ll instantly know what it should sound like.
You seem influenced by your Romanian roots. What else influenced the recording process?
I had written all the songs beforehand, so when me and my producer Fridolin went into the studio to record, I pretty much knew what I wanted them to sound like. We would goof around and record cheesy R&B-voices on the tracks as a joke, but other times we worked for hours with complete concentration.
You mix a lot of genres, indie, folk and Balkan beats. What can we expect from your album and live shows?
Expect the unexpected. I don’t stick to the album recordings when performing live, I love changing things up.
You’re an artist in your own right but how do you feel when you’re constantly compared to other female songstresses like Florence Welch?
It’s pretty much white noise now. It used to bother me that people couldn’t understand that I was nothing like these artists, but I realise it’s just because it’s easier to compare. At least I’m happy to be compared to great artists.
What or where is your ideal Wonderland?
It’s not human nature to ever feel satisfied. Even if there were no problems, we’d make them. So I would say the one I live in is my Wonderland. It’s just about taking what you have and make the very most of it, and not be afraid to dream big.
Words: Shane Hawkins