Folarin Falana is an A-list Nigerian rapper, songwriter and actor, who is popularly known as Falz or Falz the Bahd Guy. Falana has been in the Nigerian music industry for over 10 years and during this period, he has enjoyed huge commercial success, not just in the music industry but also in the world of film and television as well.
As a result of his numerous contributions to the world of entertainment, Falz is widely awarded in both acting and singing categories. He owns his own independent record label and has released four studio albums to date. Before we go further into details on the biography of Falz, let us look at some important facts about the artiste.
10 facts everyone should know about Falz
- Falz was born on 27th October 1990 and he will be 30 years old on his birthday later in the year.
- His real name is Folarin Falana and his parents are popular Nigerian lawyers and human rights activists, Femi and Fumi Falana.
- Folarin Falana studied Law at the University of Reading, England and also attended the Nigerian Law School in Abuja. He was called to the bar in 2012 an thus can practise Law in Nigeria.
- Falz started making music officially in 2009 when he released Shakara: The Mixtape, but he had been singing as a hobby since his secondary school days.
- The artist released his first studio album in 2014, titled Wazup Guy and has since released four albums in total.
- He runs his own independent record label known as Bahd Guys Records and releases his projects under its name.
- Falz is also a talented actor who has won Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) awards. He has appeared in about eight movies and TV series.
- He had a run-in with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in 2018 when his This Is Nigeria song was deemed vulgar and thus pulled down from all radio stations in the country. He sued the NBC to challenge the decision.
- At The Headies 2019, Falz won three awards namely; Best Rap Single, Best Rap Album and Album of the Year.
- Falz’s moniker, Falz the Bahd Guy, actually means Falz Brilliant And Highly Distinct Guy. It is not a stylish manner of spelling bad.
Falz Biography: Early life and education
Falz whose real name is Folarin Falana was born on 27th October 1990 in Mushin, Lagos. The singer was born to popular Nigerian lawyers, Femi Falana SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) and Funmi Falana, both Nigerian legal practitioners. His parents are popular human rights activists and his mother, Funmi Falana, currently serves as the national director of Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), a non-governmental organisation that defends the rights of women and children.
Folarin Falana, who is known by his stage name, Falz, grew up in Lagos. He completed his primary school education at St. Leo’s Catholic Primary School in Ikeja. From there, he moved to Olashore International School in Osun State for his secondary school education.
After he obtained his Senior Secondary School Certificate, he went to England to study Law at the University of Reading where he obtained his LLB honour in Law.Falz in addition to being a talented musician and actor is a fully qualified UK-trained lawyer Click To Tweet
He returned to Nigeria after this and enrolled at the Nigerian Law School in Abuja. This school provides Nigerian legal education to foreign-trained lawyers, as well as provides practical training for aspiring legal practitioners in Nigeria. Anyone who has obtained a university degree in law and wants to practice law in Nigeria must attend one of the Nigerian Law Schools.
Falz graduated from the school in 2012 and was called to bar, meaning he could practise Law in Nigeria.
Falz Biography: Changing career from law to music
Falz decided to chart a course in the entertainment industry after he realised that he could not overcome his love for music. However, he did not come from an entertainment-inclined family as we have shown.
He himself acknowledged that he had initially wanted to become a practising lawyer like his parents. Yet, he had a budding passion for making music since his secondary school days. According to an interview published on Vanguard, Falz revealed that he was already singing since secondary school.
He and his friends had even formed a music group they called The School Boys back then. But he had seen it as a hobby and not a profession to pursue full-time. His perspective, however, changed when he was about to complete his university education in the United Kingdom. The rapper explains:
“I never thought it was something I was going to give serious attention until towards the end of my university days. By then the music I was making appeared to be on a different level, assuming something of professional status. Then I realised I could make it a profession.”
This decision led to the creation of Falz as we know him today. Also, while many expected that his decision would put him on a direct collision against his parents’ wishes, it did not.
He acknowledges in the said interview that they had been surprised at the decision. But it had not led to him having the typical strained relationship that many thought would happen with his parents.
What is the meaning of Falz the Bahd Guy?
The nickname Falz was from his school days; his friends had stylishly shortened his last name, Falana to make it. However, the other aspect of his stage name ‘the BAHDguy’ is actually an acronym and is not just a fancy way of writing ‘Bad’. The acronym stands for ‘Brilliant And Highly Distinct Guy’. Not many people knew this.
Falz Biography: Music career
Folarin Falana or Falz, as you may know him, began his professional music career in 2009. He compiled all his previously recorded songs into a mixtape titled Shakara: The Mixtape and released it for free download online.
He did this to gain early followers before he could start selling. Also, since he did not start out as a signee under a record label as many new Nigerian artistes do, he had to get some music enthusiasts on his side.
This worked out for him. In 2011 he dropped Wazup Guy and went into hiatus. This was likely due to the demands of completing university as well as concluding his Law certification requirements at the Nigerian Law School in 2012. It was not until 2013 that Falz resurfaced again.
He released two singles titled High Class and Currency in 2013. These songs announced him to the music world and there were telling signs, even in those early times, that Falz would be around for a long time.
By the beginning of 2014, he was already getting recognition. TooXclusive, a well -known Nigerian music and review website, mentioned Falz in their January 2014 article titled Artistes To Watch in 2014.
That same year, Falz dropped his first studio album titled Wazup Guy. By then he has also started his independent record label known as Bahd Guys Records.Click To Tweet
Wazup Guy album
Falz released his debut studio album, Wazup Guy, on 30th May 2014. The album contains 18 tracks including his 2011 single Wazup Guy, which the album was named after. Artistes like Olamide, Poe, Yemi Alade, Phenom, and Show Dem Camp featured on the project.
The production included masterful infusion from producers like Studio Magic, DJ Woske, Spellz and Tin Tin. For a debut album, it blew into the market like a tornado.
Songs such as Marry Me and Toyin Tomato were instant hits. His previous singles, High Class and Currency, were also part of the absorbing tracklist.
It was with this album that Falz trademarked his comical lyrics, high-end pun style and funny accent. These ingredients would come to define his style.
Marry Me took Falz to top award shows as a nominee. Despite not winning any at that time, it was a major feat for him to be mentioned at awards such as Scream Awards and the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Without pausing, the rapper delved into releasing more hits the very next year.
Ello Bae, Karishika singles
On the back of his notable 2014 feats in the Nigerian music scene, Falz dropped Ello Bae in January 2015. Sticking to his comical lyrics and funny-sounding accent, the song was an immediate banger. It had funny skits made around it. In addition, the title of the song started to feature in many other facets of life. It became a trend and people even used it in their day-to-day conversations.
However, the major highlight of Falz’s 2015 career will come in the month of May. On the 15th of that month, he came together with Phyno and comical celebrity Chigul to mastermind Karishika. The track was produced by Sess and it immediately started outranking all the singer’s previous songs on charts.
It became a critically acclaimed rap song and pitched him in the same tent as other top-tier Nigerian rappers at the time. In fact, people started mentioning his name in the same breath as Olamide, M.I, Reminisce and others.
Falz and Simi produced two notable songs together between July and August of 2015. They made Soldier and Jamb Question, two songs that equally shared fame and popularity around that time.
Not long after, he worked on a remix of Karishika with Jude “M.I” Abaga and Show Dem Camp.
Stories That Touch album
Later in November 2015, Falz the Bahdguy dropped his second studio album titled Stories That Touch. The album had an array of singers on it including Simi, Phyno, Yemi Alade, Reminisce, Shaydee, Reekado Banks, M.I, Bez and Show Dem Camp.
While the features were impressive, even far more impressive was the tracklisting. The full tracklist will be mentioned in the concluding section. Yet, it is noteworthy that songs like Soft Work, Karishika, Soldier, Celebrity Girlfriend and Time Difference were on it.
The album and some songs on it won him several awards and got him notable nominations as well. For example, it won the Album of the Year at the 2016 City People Entertainment Awards. A full list of Falz’s Award is available towards the end of this article.
Falz and Simi Chemistry EP (2016)
In 2016, just a couple of years after completing his Law degree and focusing solely on his music career, Falz released videos for some of his notable songs in 2015. That year, tracks like Jamb Question (with Simi), Soldier (also with Simi) and Soft Work most stood out.
Then he and Simi worked together on a project that would be titled Chemistry EP. Sess single-handedly handled the production aspect of the project and the song Chemistry (after which the EP was named) was a standout track.
It even gave more wings to the rumours that Falz and Simi were romantically attached. Chemistry was nominated for the Best Album of the Year category at the 2017 Nigeria Entertainment Award.
27 album (2017)
Falz seemed to be having a calm year by the beginning of 2017 judging by the dizzying standard he had set. He released Wehdone Sir in January of that year and the song alone carried the artiste for a long time before he dropped another hit.
This time, he partnered with then-new rap sensation, Ycee, and they served fans Something Light. While the music world was still concentrating on this catchy track, Falz surprisingly released his third studio album titled 27.
Folarin Falana, who many know as Falz, dropped 27 on his 27th birthday which coincidentally fell on 27th October 2017. It had been a surprise album because prior to its release, there had been no promotion.
27 by Falz paraded superstars like Olamide, Davido, Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Maleek Berry, Sir Dauda, Ycee, Terry Apala and many more. Again, Sess produced many of the tracks, but this time, Maleek Berry and Studio Magic got some credits for their work on the project.
Previously released songs like Bahd Baddo Baddest, Something Light and Wehdone Sir were included in the tracklist. It was the new ones that made the most waves, however.
For example, Way (with Wande Coal) got much love and lots of listeners. But none of them came close to the popularity of Child of the World. The song, while telling a familiar story, was popular after its release and stays popular even down to this time.
27 got Falz nominated in the Best Rap Album category at The Headies in 2018.
This is Nigeria single
Folarin Falana known by his stage name, Falz, recreated the music video of This is America by Childish Gambino in May 2018. Like the original, Falz named his This is Nigeria. Also, as Gambino used his song’s platform to talk about ills in American society, Falz also used his own version to talk about the same topics in Nigeria.
The artiste criticised issues that were trending then such as corruption, bribery and the Boko Haram insurgency. As many expected, the song put him in a dicey situation with several authorities. Some people also mentioned that he had interpreted the video poorly from an artistic viewpoint.
However, the majority of individuals, including celebrities applauded his courage.Falz sued the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation for NGN100 million in 2018 for banning This Is Nigeria from the airwaves and characterising the song as vulgar Click To Tweet
In June 2018, the Muslim Right Concern (MURIC) mentioned that it was giving Falz seven days to remove the video and issue a public apology. While it was not clear what issue the religious body had with the video, they had called it a hate video. Likely, it may have been because there were dancers wearing the Muslim hijab in the video.
But both Falz and his management had stated that while they had not received a formal complaint regarding the video, even if they did, they had no plans of removing it.
Falz also revealed that while he aimed to drive a conversation on some of the issues the video highlighted, he hadn’t foreseen such major reactions.
He also responded that the girls in hijab dancing ‘Shaku Shaku’ in the video symbolised entertainment being a distraction from everything that is happening in the society.
In August 2018, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) banned the song, This is Nigeria, from being played on airwaves in the country. The NBC stated that the song was vulgar and unfit for the general radio listeners. They especially mentioned that the part of the lyrics that says: “This is Nigeria; look how we living now, everybody be criminal”, is vulgar.
See this article for further details: Falz reacts after NBC fines radio station for playing ‘This is Nigeria’ song
For much of 2018, the video, its message and reactions trailed Falz. He responded to the NBC ban by suing the commission for NGN100 million. He adds: If they ban this song, then I do not understand them because that song is definitely not a vulgar song.” There is no report on what became of the suit.
Returning in 2019, Falz dropped a single titled Talk. The artwork for the single seemed to criticise wealthy church leaders, politicians and immorality in general. It also has bullets included in the art that may be pointing to insurgency and banditry in Nigeria.
The song also dragged the singer into another controversy when people didn’t like the fact that he took a jab at sex workers. In response to this criticism, Falz says:
“I detest transactional sex. It’s my thing, that’s what I believe in. You’ll continue to hear it in my music whether you like it or not.”
Moral Instruction album
Also, in 2019, Falz released a full album titled Moral Instruction in January 2019. It included Talk and tracks that pointed at the moral decadence of the society.
The album took him to The Headies’ Best Rap Album again (the third time) in 2019 and this time, he clinched the award. He also won the Album of the Year award (a category he was nominated in for the third time as well). Talk was given the Best Rap Single of 2019 award at The Headies.“I detest transactional sex. It’s my thing, that’s what I believe in. You’ll continue to hear it in my music whether you like it or not.” Click To Tweet
Falz recent songs 2020
He was also on the song God of Men (Fake Pastors) with Charly Boy and Skales. In addition, Reminisce had featured him on his new song, Prosperity. This is not all, Dark Poet had featured Falz on his track Ripple Effect (which also had M.I Abaga as well).
Related: Download Bop Daddy by Falz
Falz Biography: TV and film career
Few years after he made a successful entrance into the world of music, Falz started to chart a path in acting as well. He made his major debut on Funke Akindele’s Jenifa’s Diary in 2015. He played the role of Segun in the series that allowed him to settle into his funny way of speaking.
It did not take long for him to start making waves as an actor as well. In 2016, he was voted the winner of the Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series Award at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).
Falz has also appeared on the popular Nigerian soap opera, Tinsel.
However, the musician actor did not limit his acting to just TV shows and series. So far, he has been on many widely acclaimed films.
Folarin Falana popularly called Falz was part of the cast of 10 Days in Sun City. He also played significant roles in the two installments of Merry Men.
His role as Quam in the 2017 film, New Money, earned him a nomination for the Best Supporting Actor category at the 2018 AMVCA, which he went on to win.
Falz also played the comic character of Femi ‘Famzy’ Beecroft in Chief Daddy.
Falz Biography: Net worth
When it comes to how much Falz is worth, there are differing views. For example, Nigeria Infopedia claims that Falz is worth NGN150 million. Another blog, QIB Nigeria estimates that he is worth $4 million.
These widely differing figures just point to the fact that there is no verifiable public information about the net worth of Falz. These blogs just seem to pull figures out of the air of what they think the artist’s net worth is.
The only thing that seems certain is that Falz has so far had a successful career, which no doubt has also been rewarding financially.
In addition, he also worked with MTN, a multimillion telecommunication firm, as a brand ambassador.
Falz Biography: Personal life and relationship
As of 2019, Falz had revealed that he was not in a relationship. The popular rapper, who is also a lawyer by profession and seen as one of Nigeria’s most eligible bachelor, is single. In other words, Falz doe not seem to have a girlfriend, partner or wife.
In fact, according to a statement credited to him, Folarin Falana says he has not been in a relationship for a long time.
While Falz says he is single, people had championed the rumour that he and Simi (a fellow singer) dated. However, this rumour seemed to have been put to bed after Simi married Adekunle Gold (another singer). Simi is expecting her first child with Adekunle Gold.
Also, since he began his music career, the singer has not been engaged in any scandal that involved the opposite sex. While he parades a host of ladies in his music videos, no one has come out to say that she and Falz had had anything that wasn’t professional.
Final Thoughts …
Folarin Falana, who many know by his stage name Falz, is an artist of repute in both the local music scene and also beyond the country’s shores. he has been in the industry for about a decade to date and there is no denying that he has established himself as a force to reckon with, in the music industry.
Also, not limiting himself to just singing, the artiste has gone into the film industry and won some awards and also notable nominations. These are testimonies of his far-reaching talent.
He has also shown that he has inherited something of a social warrior from his parents as demonstrated in some of his music.
Judging by his feats so far in both the music and the Nollywood industries, there is every reason to believe that Falz will be around for a long time and we are looking forward to more content from him.
Bonus Falz information
1. Wazup Guy Tracklist (2014)
- See Me
- Wazup Guy
- Toyin Tomato (Skit)
- Toyin Tomato
- O Pari ft. Olamide
- How Far ft. Sir Dauda
- Right Now ft. Dipo
- High Class
- Hold Something
- Marry Me ft. Poe & Yemi Alade
- 1,2,3 ft. Oyinkansola
- Oh God
- Wazup Guy (Remix) ft. Show Dem Camp & Phenom
- The Advice
- Cool Parry ft. Saeon (Hidden Track)
2. Stories that Touch (2015)
- Kabiyesi ft Oyinkansola
- Soft work
- My people
- Karishika ft Phyno, Chigurl
- Soldier ft Simi
- Supe ft Yemi Alade, Shaydee
- Clap ft Reminisce
- Time difference ft Sess
- Airline Drama (Skit)
- Celebrity girlfriend ft Reekado Banks
- Chadonae Music ft Poe, Chyn
- Love you pass ft Bez
- Karishika Part 2 ft M.I, Show Dem Camp
- Bonus Track
3. Chemistry EP with Simi (2016)
- Want To
- Show You Pepper
- Shake Your Body
4. 27 (2017)
- La Fête
- Alright (Ft. Burna Boy)
- Child of the World
- Boogie ft Sir Dauda
- The Lamba Song
- Get Me
- Way ft Wande Coal
- I Do It
- Something Light ft Ycee
- Le Vrai Bahd Guy
- My Money Ft. Terry Apala
- Confirm Ft. Sir Dauda
- Next Ft. Maleek Berry & Medikal
- Wehdone Sir Lyrics
- Bahd, Baddo, Baddest Ft. Davido & Olamide
5. Moral Instruction (2019)
- Follow Follow
- Hypocrite Ft. Demmie Vee
- Brother’s Keeper Ft. Sess
- Paper Ft. Chillz
- E No Finish
- After All Said And Done
Selected Falz features
- Charly Boy ft. Falz – God Of Men (Fake Pastors) (2020)
- Timaya – Win ft. Falz (2020)
- Simi – Mind Your Bizness ft. Falz (2019)
- Magnito – If To Say I Be Girl Ehn ft. Falz (2019)
- Naira Marley ft. Olamide, Falz, Simi, Lil Kesh & Slim Case – Naija Issa Goal (2019)
- Ice Prince – Feel Good ft. Falz, Phyno (2019)
- Yemi Alade – Single & Searching ft. Falz (2018)
- PepeNazi ft Reminisce, Falz – I Ain’t Gat No Time Remix (2017)
- Ajebutter22 – Bad Gang ft. Falz (2017)
- Simi – Jamb Question ft. Falz (2015)
- Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series (2016)
- BET Awards for Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act (2016)
- City People Entertainment Awards for Album of the Year (2016)
- 9th Nigeria Music Video Awards for Best Afro Hip Hop Video (2016)
- The Headies for Best Collabo (2016)
- Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor (2018)
- The Headies for Best Rap Single (2019)
- The Headies for Best Rap Album (2019)
- The Headies for Album of the Year (2019)