Fresh Music Friday: Fola - Come My Way
Fola's "Come My Way" is the kind of track that makes you want to find the nearest dance floor, grab a partner, and get your shimmy on! The afrobeat inflected track is our song of the week because it brings a feel-good year-round summertime vibe that we're proud to add to our playlists.
Though this song makes the listener want to do a mean two-step, it was interesting to learn that London-based singer/songwriter faced a creative hurdle when creating this single. During our email chat throughout the week, he shared his insight on creating Come My Way and the most important lesson he has learned being in the music industry.
Musik !D TV: Come My Way is so light and refreshing to the ear; a good listen. Tell us the process of writing and producing this track.
Fola: I was cleaning the bathroom and a melody came into my head, all I kept saying was 'sweet loving'. Recorded it on my phone and went to studio with Musiek Mambu. Initially it didn't go down well, so I left it for like 2 weeks - I didn't want to leave the music as i knew i had something i needed to say. Fast track 2 weeks i revisited the song, took all the instruments out and just kept the drums and percussion, all of a sudden i started singing Come My Way, then I knew I had the right song and message I wanted to express through song. From there I got my friend Femi V to play guitar and he also co-produced the track. I also had a melody idea for a saxophone [my favourite instrument] so i got a saxophone player called Ade to play in the pre-chorus.
MIDTV: The music video for Come My Way is so fun and stylish. How did you and director EDXPH decide on the creative direction for the visual?
FOLA. Actually the creative process for the Come My Way video came from myself and Dancer/Choreographer Kemi Durosinmi, who is also in the video. I had an idea to do a one take video, walking on the streets and by the end of it I will be performing the song on the street with a busking band. Kemi came up with the idea to use that same idea but incorporate like an Instagram swipe concept. She suggested the idea of going to different locations in London. I wanted to incorporate something stylish that incorporated my African heritage through fashion. So, I hired stylist Karine Jones of Aesthetic Candy to help me bring that vision to life.
MIDTV: Your latest project, SE17 VOL1 is inspired by vocal greats like Stevie Wonder, Micheal Jackson, Sade, Brandy, Whitney Houston, and many other vocal greats. What have you learned from these artists that you have applied to your career?
FOLA: I have learned that originality and being yourself is key. There is only one Fola, i am in my own lane and would like to keep it that way forever. I have also learned that this is a gift and i have to really come correct and produce the best music i possibly can with my heart and soul.
MIDTV: Your sound is very diverse, ranging from R&B to Trap to Afro Beats. Share with up and coming musicians the importance of continually trying a new sound.
FOLA: I feel trying a new sound is so essential because i don't see music as something one should box and control.It allows you to grow and i feel it also allows longevity as i'm able to adapt.
MIDTV: In 2007, you were in X-Factor's bootcamp. Many musicians would love to have that opportunity. How was that experience and how has it changed your music career?
FOLA: My x-factor experience didn't really do much for my career in terms of popularity or industry connections as that was my first stop. I was only 16/17 and didn't know much about the industry or what I was getting myself into. It definitely gave me an insight into how TV works and since then, I have taken this game for what it is, it's THE MUSIC BUSINESS. As artists we get very passionate about the art and can sometimes take things personal but that experience taught me to have tough skin and never take other people's business decisions personally. Nothing should ever stop your passion and grind to the top. Very grateful for that experience at such an early stage in my career.
MIDTV: You've been singing since 11 years old. What keeps you interested in this hyper ever-changing climate of the music industry?
FOLA: I have no clue, I just have this deep passion for the arts - always have and always will.
MIDTV: Besides your new album, what projects do you have lined up in the future?
FOLA: I have SE.17 Vol2 coming next year as well as the continuation of the EP series Promise Land - which is kind of like the journey to me becoming a better artist.
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