Following her acclaimed recent releases Qhawe and Funani, pioneering South African MC, Toya Delazy drops her explosive new release – Resurrection the first offering from her forthcoming album, Afrorave Vol. 1, recorded purely in IsiZulu.
Resurrection, the first single released off the album, displays the breadth, scope and direction of her new project as both sonically freer and more exhilarating than ever before – an affirmation of a world coming back to life. Co-produced by local South African producer Mxshi Mo. The new music video, directed by Cape Town-based Kyle Lewis, is a wild, expressive and surreal conceptual music video that works in African tribal motifs, zombies and VHS party footage. A soul-reaffirming reintroduction to one of the most expressive young artists coming through right now.
Now with her new body of work on the horizon, Toya’s relentless creativity looks set to continue her trajectory as one of the brightest talents of 2021. We spoke to Toya about the new album:
What were some of the inspirations and challenges behind the creation of Afrorave Vol. 1.?
The main challenge was that it had never been done before so linking up with right producers that understand my vision was imperative. Inspiration came from our greats Brenda Fassie, or mama Miriam Makeba who broke overseas during Apartheid and was just an all-around African patriot and artist. Knowing they did it inspired me and finally meeting people who matched my vibration and the magic we made and how people were responding to the music definitely encouraged me.
The album was created with an international community of collaborators from England to South Africa, how did you manage this during a pandemic?
Before the lockdown hit I could go to sessions with producers but with lockdown we had to find an alternative way to work remotely. This seemed to be the case across the industry so we just maximized on virtual connections. We collaborated on Zoom – I would work from my studio at home and just send the vocal stems or beats across. The internet is a whole galaxy of opportunity and we made the most of it because it was all we had. I still haven’t met my producer MXSHI from Pietermaritzburg who created the beat for Resurrection. It was all virtual.
Other than creating your amazing new album, what else kept you busy during the lockdown?
I bought my first home in London, so it’s really hard at the moment.
Tell us a bit about the first single Resurrection and how you and Kyle Lewis came up with the theme for the music video?
I told Kyle about a very painful difficult story related to my teenage years where I was in a school that used to bully black children by shaving our hair, or virginity testing girls after the school holidays. The depression I went through felt like a burial. When you are that young you cannot fight for yourself or even articulate what you are going through yet. It was mental slavery, they owned my mind, body through religion, and I felt like it was being used to disempower us. I had nothing of my own. Resurrection is my release, we all will experience pain in this life but the beauty lays in how we release it, sometimes when you going through the most it feels as though you are being buried, but, in-fact it’s preparing you for your resurrection. We are the seeds that when buried we blossomed, despite it all. I believe it’s time Africans be everything they want to be in this lifetime. It’s time for our Resurrection.. Lockdown left us with so much pent up energy so in the beat I vowed that when lockdown is over we gonna be party animals !
What are your top 3 songs on the new album and why?
Resurrection – redesigning yourself is a powerful thing, you have to die to your old self and embrace your truth, to die, you have to let go of the ego only then you will taste the sweet waters of resurrection. Life is all about the power of transformation.
Tini – speaks about mental health in the black community and its importance it should be as important as our physical health. I lost a cousin who at the end we also found out he was bipolar, it broke my heart when I realised what a misunderstood life he led just because we did not know the signs of depression.
Onakho ft Young Mbazo – a song against GBV and not valuing others, why is it we don’t see what we have till it’s gone, encourage people to get along or let each other go because the suffering impacts us all.
5. Will fans be able to watch you perform again anytime soon and where can they get the deets?
It seems like the restrictions are lifting across the world so yeah, they can expect to see me in their city sometime. Fans can look for details on my socials!
Resurrection is available for download and streaming on all digital platforms (Apple Music | Spotify | Deezer | Google Play | Youtube) and the full album Afrorave Vol.1 will be released by tomorrow, 18 June.