Hey there voters, clicking into yet another week of O Music Awards-inspired frenzy: Have you heard of our brand-new Make A Band Famous category? Allow us to explicate: We have chosen 10 up-and-coming, awesome bands with thriving fanbases to face off in the ultimate competition. Five will be chosen — by fan vote — to play the O Music Awards on June 19 (those will be announced on May 31) and one of those five will get a HUGE opportunity: a once-in-a-lifetime shot to play VMA weekend in August, as well as the distinction of becoming MTV’s Artist to Watch, VH1’s You Oughta Know, or CMT’s Listen Up highlighted band. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of those 10 acts, Denmark’s own Fallulah.
Maria Apetri – already a runaway hit in her home country – is primed to bring her brand of ethereal pop to other shores around the world. Weaned on the tempestuous Balkan sound – and raised by a dancer choreographer father whose death had a strong influence on her music – Apetri’s ability to craft a danceable jam, coupled with her soaring vocals, makes her a strong contestant in this competition.
Check out our Q&A with Apetri below, and click vote right here.
What is your earliest musical memory?
I grew up listening to Balkan music thanks to my parents, but the first music I sought out on my own — except for kiddie stuff — was all the girl groups like TLC, Destiny’s Child and Spice Girls. I was so into girl power from a very young age. My brother was really into gangster rap and electro, so I got a bit of edge from him.
Tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.
My writing comes from a personal place, and I can’t write unless I have something to say. Therefore it’s often words and melodies that start it off, and then quite fast I have an overall vision of the finished song. Sometimes I’ll have the full arrangements in my head, and then I’ll sit down by my computer and do a demo. It’s the hard part, because I’m self-taught, and don’t play anything well, so the challenge is taking what’s inside my head and making it into music.
Which of your songs do you think is the most representative of your music? Why? Tell us about it.
My songs are quite versatile, because I feel like I have a lot of contradictions in me. I can be extremely introverted one day and dancing on the tables the next. I think the songs that has both sides of me in it is ‘Out Of It.’ I love playing it live because people get really excited and dance around, and at the same time it’s telling a very personal story about insecurities and fear.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you?
Actually, my fans are surprisingly sane. One of my fans liked bringing me homemade cake at shows a lot, but that was just awesome!
What’s running through your head when you’re performing live?
I get really excited and nervous before a show, and so it’s a really physical experience for me to be on stage. I like expressing the music with movements, and just let everything flow naturally. The best experiences are the ones where you don’t think too much, and just do. If you’re too much in your own head, you can really psych yourself out.
Which musicians inspire you and why?
I’m really inspired by anyone who’s not afraid of leading a new way. It’s easy to doubt yourself when you look around, and no one else is doing what you do. Courage is inspiring. I really like artist like Fiona Apple, Karen O, Jack White, Kate Bush, Damon Albarn. The list goes on — there’s so many great people to look up to.
What do you hope people do when they listen to your tunes?
Anything, really. The dishes, a marathon, having their hearts broken and then dancing out all the pain.
Do you have signature style? If so, what is it?
I use my voice as instruments, and hand claps and stomps as part of my sound. On my new music I’ve added flutes on all of it, being inspired by Brazilian music from the ’60s. It adds a beautiful cinematic quality. I also like playing with dynamics in my music, like building it up and breaking it down so it tells a story and creates drama.
Writing good lyrics and melodies are very important parts of my songwriting as well. Nothing makes me happier than writing a killer chorus.
Kittens or puppies? Explain.
I love both, but if I had to choose it would be puppies.
Why should we vote for you?
Because It makes me sad when I read comments saying that people around the world can’t buy my music, and they wish I could come play shows in places where I have no setup yet. I’ve been working really hard for years, and I want to be able to share my music with everyone who’s into it.