Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fallulah: Bridges + I Lay My Head

Maria Apetri aka Fallulah (born 1985) is a Danish-Romanian singer/musician/songwriter with a solid following in Denmark and a growing one in other European countries. She has been compared to Florence + The Machine, but Kate Bush and one-of-a-kind British singer Adam Ant who had several hits in the 1980s also come to mind in terms of vocal style and sound.

Her late Romanian father was a Balkan choreographer and her Danish mother was a dancer - as a child Maria joined them on tours in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Her videos and live performances draw on her dance experience and further cement the obvious comparison to Florence and to Kate Bush; Fallulah however brings her personal flavor to the sounds/performances that came before, and her Romanian background is one that has served her well in forging a voice/image that is different from most contemporary Danish recording artists.

Last time Denmark witnessed the soaring of an exotic bird was when vocalist Annisette of experimental band Savage Rose exploded onto the Danish rock scene in the late 1960s, but Fallulah is not the only one: a growing number of Danes of mixed parentage/bi-cultural backgrounds are recording, performing, attracting fans and being signed in Denmark [one is hip hop artist Negesh Ali - see previous blog post].

(NOTE: Annisette, now 62 years old, and Savage Rose are still very active in Denmark. She lived in Los Angeles off and on in for a number of years with musician husband/band mate and Savage Rose founder Thomas Koppel who died very suddenly in 2006 at age 61 from a heart attack while sitting at the piano during a vacation in Puerto Rico]

At age 21, Maria studied dance in New York City, but returned to Copenhagen to focus on music. In 2009 Sony Denmark signed Maria, now using her stage name Fallulah, and her first single "I Lay My Head" was released in August of that year. It was followed by her debut full-length album "The Black Cat Neighborhood" from which "Give Us A Little Love and "Bridges" were released as singles - both songs received heavy air play on Danish radio.

On January 14, 2011 Fallulah was awarded the coveted Danish radio P3 [channel 3] Award at a major event in Copenhagen. The award comes with a sum equivalent to about US $18.000 and she has stated in an interview with Danish magazine http://www.gaffa.dk/ that the award money will go towards putting her own studio together just outside of Copenhagen.

She has performed several years in a row at Europe's largest and oldest music festival, the one-weekend late June/early July Roskilde Festival west of Copenhagen, and will most likely return.