feat. PRINCE OF FALLS
words: Amara Barrett Willett
photos: Ella Du Heaume Campbell
We caught up with Prince of Falls over Zoom last week. The lowkey London artist, with over 170K monthly listens on Spotify, has been consistently dropping the most interesting alt-r&b tracks I’ve heard in awhile, including ‘Marlboro’ and ‘I Felt Nothing.’ We spoke about selflessness, growing up in the two countries and how ‘The Trilogy’ could be the best album ever. Prince of Fall’s new video: ‘Signs Of Gemini’ is out today, make sure you catch it.
Amara: Hey how are you doing?
Prince of Falls: I’m good, just went to the cafe and now I’m on my way home. A pretty chill day you know I’m good though!
Amara: Tell me about yourself, who are you, how would you describe yourself in an introduction?
Prince of Falls: I’m Prince of Falls , it's really hard for me to describe myself. I don't’ look or think about myself in any elevated way if that makes sense? It’s really difficult for me to describe myself in any words, I just am. I’m me, just a normal person. I care about other people more than myself so I can't really describe myself.
Amara: Okay so you’re a selfless guy, do you think your selflessness influences your music and writing?
Prince of Falls: Definitely! I can’t write anything I haven't felt and I can't write anything nobody else can relate to, it just comes to me naturally. I definitely feel the emotions of other people around me.
Amara: Okay, I’m getting to know a bit more about you, basic one now, where are you from, where did you grow up?
Prince of Falls: Originally I’m from Nigeria, I lived there until I was 10 and then came to England when I was 11, the final year for Primary School. And I’ve lived in London ever since, I’m based in South East and have been here ever since. I never really went anywhere else, I like South East you know haha.
Amara: You’re quite elusive, is that on purpose, do you not want loads of information about you out there? Are you hiding from us in a Jai Paul situation?
Prince of Falls: I feel you so much, but I just don’t mean to do it. I’m quite a normal guy, even the way I started music there wasn't much hype from myself. I just do me and don’t really think about putting myself out there like that. I just started my sound and grew it. There's nothing about me, I don't really say a lot haha, I do a lot but I don’t say much. I make my music more and I put it out, trying to live my life as a normal person and make music and here I am.
Amara: But what is your life as a normal person?
Prince of Falls: It’s very complicated...how do I describe it? I just wanna constantly have fun and laugh, but be around the people I care about. But we all know life doesn’t really work like that, I’ve been put in situations from early where I’ve learnt that life isn’t that fair and I think I’ve taken that with me in life. It’s kind of shit, but I understand it.
Amara: Do you include that side of your life in your music, or do you try to present a more positive side of yourself?
Prince of Falls: Yeah! We all know that we’ve been shielded from the negative side of the world (from our parents, from childhood etc) especially being told from an early age you should do this, you should do that, you should be this way or that. Being bombarded with so many opinions and ideas of how you should be from people around you it’s a lot especially for a kid. I’ve become that person that says no, you're not going to tell me what to do.
Amara: A determined way to live your life...
Prince of Falls: Yeah, I think there’s too much pressure on how you should be, you have to get a job, you have to work, you have to do this and that. The expectations other people have are pressure!
Amara: Okay so Zoom messed up our flow so let's get back into it with some new questions!
What got you to start recording at home?
Prince of Falls: So the earliest memory is me and my friends skipping class in 6th form, we were chilling and I was singing 2Chainz. This was obviously at the time when 2Chainz was hot and I was singing ‘I’m Different’, then my boy goes “You’re good, you should sing” and I did. Literally just like that! I tricked my dad into getting me some equipment, I told him I needed money for school or something and bought myself a mic and stuff and I just started making music.
Amara: So it sounds like you were self taught?
Prince of Falls: Yeah, I literally taught myself how to use everything, learnt from Youtube and online.
My friends would come over and tell me that was good, and this was bad. My friends were really my biggest supporters. My close friends really helped me shape my sound, even when it came to putting music out. They pushed me to that, because originally I really didn’t want to. My friends were like “Put this out it’s good” and I was there going “Okay, fair enough...I’ll put it out I guess”. They really gave me confidence.
Amara: What were your musical influences growing up?
Prince of Falls: Well I grew up in Nigeria so I was listening to what my parents were listening to. I can definitely still remember all the songs my parents used to play in the car. P- Square was big at the time, I remember him being big on the radio. But coming to the UK it was a bit different. I wasn’t a fan of grime, it didn't really grab my attention. I always kept to myself, I really appreciate the sound but it really wasn’t for me. I didn’t really feel connected to it.
Amara: So what were you listening to after that?
Prince of Falls: I really got into Linkin Park, but outside of that The Weeknd, Drake. My friends back then used to bang out Lil Wayne. It was the people around me, I felt their emotions and their experiences and I took it in.
Amara: I hear a lot of early The Weeknd in your work. Very House of Balloons you know?
Prince of Falls: Yeah Trilogy is my favourite album hands down the greatest album for me. It was an amazing piece of work, a beautiful album. Drake Take Care, that’s another great album.
Amara: So these artists had an affect on you?
Prince of Falls: Yeah for sure, but as I was developing my sound and myself I started to realise that I didn’t necessarily relate to some of the popular lyrics I’d hear. I as hearing the cliches and dumb things everybody seemed to be saying about girls and cars. And then I go, but wait: “I really don’t feel like this.” So in trying to express myself I stopped listening to music and started listening to more instrumentals.
Amara: So what instrumentals are you listening to?
Prince Of Falls: I really like House music, there’s less vocals definitely, and the tempo, the beat, the instrumentation it’s all beautiful. And it helps that I like to cut shapes too. And my producer sends me loads of beats, I just listen. I like to just listen you know?
Amara: You’ve never performed in real life, but you’ve got such a big buzz how do you think that happened?
Prince of Falls: You know when everything started up, I was still working - I was at M&S at the time. My contract with them made it really hard for me to do shit, even for my album. It meant doing any live performances was basically impossible. I was doing so well outside this workspace, but as soon as I walk-in, I couldn't be myself any more. I had to change my character and mindset. I literally started to get migraines!
Amara: When a dayjob is stopping your dreams it can easily become unbearable I hear that.
Prince of Falls: It started breaking me down, it was weighing me down. To be honest, I never really saw myself working for somebody else. I didn’t like it there at all.
Amara: Are you thinking about doing a live performance anytime soon? Corona permitting obviously
Prince of Falls: Yeah! Definitely. Before, obviously I wasn’t able to really perform. I didn’t even have enough songs out at that time. I’ve got lots of fans across Europe, Germany, France, Russia and there are fans in the US too, there's less fans in London. I don’t think I was ready yet either, especially with not having enough songs. I didn’t want to be that person that just comes out with one song, I really wanted to work on a full body of work and have that. I was working towards doing my tour this year, but obviously you know what happened...haha
Amara: Yeah...a lot has happened!
Prince of Falls: But I’m feeling energised, I’m ready and we're looking at next year instead!
Amara: So you’ve led me to my next question, how has this time treated you?
Prince of Falls: I saw people around me breaking down, and I couldn’t really be that person otherwise who's there to be strong you know? I wasn’t really restricted I don’t think, You know it’s not been that bad for me. It’s not been easy but it’s not been bad. I tried to get outside and not be trapped inside, I’ve been through periods where I haven’t left my uni accommodation for 4 or 5 months. And that was horrible, I’d never want to redo that ever again.
You can find Prince of Falls on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube and more. Look out for his brand new music video dropping on Friday 3rd of July.