Dec 28, 2020

Fabulous Falan!

It has been several weeks now, since the ‘’Derana Dream Star Season 9’’ concluded amid much debate and controversy, leaving the public to judge who was the most suitable finalist to win the crown. Captivating the audiences with her versatile singing, and active performance on stage, Falan Andrea Jansen became a music sensation overnight, reaching the top spot at the Derana Dream Star Season 9 , which has now become the most popular reality music TV show in Sri Lanka.

Her fellow competitors were Gihan Bandara and Nuwandika Senarathne, who gave her a tight competition, proving that they were equally talented as her. Falan considers Derana Dream Star as one of the best experiences in her life, since she ‘’learnt so much’’ as someone who was new to the music industry, apart from that, she learnt so many aspects which were not only relevant to move forward in the music industry, but also relevant to her life as well: communicating with people, maintaining a good PR, how to be confident, and how to respect seniors. For Falan , this was a whole new world which she just stepped into – but it taught her many things.

Falan always wanted to be a musician ever since she was a kid. She studied at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, where she represented her house in the house choir and was also in the school main choir. She was mostly involved in oriental music in school, which was quite opposite from what she pursued thereafter. She was compelled to study Human Resource Management after leaving school; therefore she missed the opportunity to do her higher studies in music.

While getting qualified in Human Resource Management and working at a private company, she figured out what she was missing – her passion for music. Derana Dream star was a massive opportunity for her to fulfill her wish, thus she immediately responded for applications. She was familiar with the programme , she knew the stars it had produced , so she had no second thoughts about it –she just sent her application.

She has two younger sisters who are currently studying for their degrees at the Kotalawela Defense Academy , According to her, they are a ‘’pretty normal family’’ .She has a ‘’thing’’ for cats (same as Taylor Swift and myself ), and this friendly artiste joined T&C for chat over her lifestyle these days , her achievements, inspirations, reflections and future plans.

Tell us about how you are progressing these days.

I spend my time on creating my originals. I have already recorded about 8 -9 originals, and I’m still struggling to get those released because of the situation of the country, and get the music videos done for those, and currently I am an ambassador for two companies, working with them and other online events and stuff like that.

‘Viyole’ was the 6th video to reach 1 million views in Derana Dream star history.

I was so happy when I heard the news. It is one of the most viewed auditions from this season. It is the only audition to pass one million views, from season 9. I’m incredibly proud and I’m really happy that people loved that particular audition.

Before you entered the contest, what was your first priority?

I actually wanted to be a musician since I was a kid. I always dreamt of myself in front of a huge crowd, singing my heart out and I always wanted to be that. But when I got older, I tended to think it was not possible to be a singer with a lot of followers, people who look up to you, etc.

That’s one of the reasons why I chose to do my higher studies in Human Resource Management and not music, but later on I realized I cannot let music out from my life, so that was why I applied to Derana Dream Star.

What sort of a student were you in school?

I was a little naughty, I used to get scolded a lot of times, by a lot of teachers, and I was always missing from class. I was always in the oriental music room, or in the Green Hall, or somewhere like that, but I loved my teachers. I was not a notorious character, I was a little naughty, and that’s all.

How do you find the support from your family in pursuing your musical career?

I should specially mention that my family is a very supportive family, if not they would not even allow me to apply for Dreamstar. They were very supportive, and they always used to be like that even when I was small. They still tell me and my sisters, ‘’always follow your dreams; unless you’re not doing anything wrong, just do what you lie to do in your life, and enjoy it .

That’s what they always told me. That’s what made me and my dreams , and do what I love , they were always behind me , even after the competition they were helping me and supporting me in everything.

After Dream Star, did you receive any other invitations to join musical projects, events, as such?

I did get invited for so many events, so many foreign tours, collaborations, so many projects. I couldn’t even believe, I was booked for the whole year , but unfortunately , the COVID situation in the country got worse, and everything got cancelled. So currently I’m working on my originals , and as I mentioned earlier, I’m an ambassador for two companies, I’m working on those.

I want to release one of my originals really soon but I’m taking time because I want to give something really good. I just don’t want to release an original just for the sake of releasing it; I just want to give the best for my viewers and my fans. I’m taking my time and doing something really good.

What kind of an impact did the present situation make on you?

The present situation is a little hard, because it was my peak period , as soon as people got to know who I was , the situation got worse, and everything got cancelled and things like that , so it’s a little hard , but hopefully the situation will get better. So yeah, I’m hopeful.

You were criticized for having a too ‘’westernized’’ voice , and that someone more talented could have won the crown. How do you respond to these criticisms?

Yes , I was criticized not only for my westernized voice, I was criticized for so many things. For what I wore in the competition, just for how I was being myself, but I didn’t change myself, that’s one thing, and up to this day, I love the dress I wore for the competition. No matter who says what, I love that dress and I know I looked amazing in that dress. So many people said that the crown should have gone to someone who was more talented. I don’t think talent can be measured like that. We cannot put two people together and tell them to sing, and choose the best. Each person is unique in their own way. Each person is different. All three finalists who got selected for the finals are completely different to each other. Gihan is an amazing Eastern singer, his voice is amazing. Nuwandika is an amazing singer, she has a beautiful scale, she can sing beautiful high notes. I’m also a singer with a western voice. So we’re three different characters with three different talents. It’s a reality show. You first have to knowhow to compete in a reality show. They search for a star personality who is a singer. I think it’s really important for you to know how to compete in a reality show and what to do in a reality show. I actually didn’t think I would wwi, but I was just being myself and I was enjoying what I did and I sang my heart out. That’s what I did. People liked it, they loved it, they voted for me and I’m really thankful for each and every person who decided that I should win.

What are your future goals ?

I really want to get to the international music field , I really want to do something that goes to the international music field , one of my other goals are to do as much as originals I can , because that is what I’m here for . I love to give to my fans, I want to something extraordinary, very special and very different from what anyone has ever done, and yes, that is my ultimate goal.