Meet Derin Falana
When did you start your music journey, and what inspired you to start?
I'm a rapper/singer. I started music around my last year of high school. I used to put out freestyles over industry beats and then started creating original music. My homies and the people around me at the time inspired me to start and the support I got from starting kept me going.
For someone who has never heard your music before, how would you describe your sound to them?
I would describe my sound as a blend between melody and rap.
What was your inspiration behind your latest album Don't Save Me?
The inspiration behind my latest album came from the transition period that was happening in my life. The new experiences and balancing the ups and downs that came with them.
What has been the biggest struggle you have faced when writing your latest album Don't Save Me, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest struggle was just piecing everything together. Making sure songs turned out the way I envisioned and sticking through the rough patches creatively. Patience definitely allowed me to overcome this. As a creative there is no time limit on your art so it's ready when you feel it's ready.
What helps you maintain your drive, preventing burn-out? What motivates you each day to keep doing what you’re doing?
Supporters motivate me to keep going. Daily messages from people that rock with me and let me know how my music has affected them in a positive way. Breaks are necessary to prevent myself from burning out. Finding that balance between living and working is important.
What has been the hardest decision you have had to make so far in your journey of being a musician?
I think the hardest decisions I've had to make so far have just been sacrifices and deciding whether or not you really want it because if you do, you're going to lose some things and people along the way that you may not be willing to give up.
How has growing up in Brampton influenced your sound?
Creatives who grow up in the suburbs tend to stay inside and work on a craft or research things. I would say growing up in Brampton influenced me in this way. Listening to different styles of music all day and watching YouTube videos of hip-hop/R&B from a young age. I would eventually study those and when I started creating I was subconsciously pulling from that because it was what I knew.
What advice would you give to young artists trying to become a musician but don't know where to start?
Focus on the music. The music matters the most. Make sure your effort goes into making sure you're creating the best music possible. Everything else comes after.
Where is your favourite place to be in Toronto when you have the day to yourself?
I've been at Warehouse a handful of times in the last couple of months. other than the studio, it might be there right now.
How would you describe your growth musically from your first project to this one?
My melodies have gotten stronger, lyrically I've improved and my content has changed because I've changed as a person and continue to change.
What’s your favourite track off of Don’t Save Me?
It's always changing. Right now it's Can't Get Enough.
At what point did you realize you wanted to be a full-time musician and how did those around you react?
It was in 2016 around the release of my first project. Ended up leaving my job and haven't looked back since. Some people supported me and others questioned my decision but I felt like it was the right thing to do for myself.
What does Home is Toronto mean to you?
Home is Toronto literally means that. Home team. This is a special place and a lot of great things have come out of here that have impacted and influenced the world forever.