Toya Delazy is a bold and visionary artist, offering up a truly 21st-century sound that draws from her South African heritage while remaining squarely rooted in the cultural and sonic identity of her adopted hometown, London. Championed by GRM, i-D, Clash, Afropunk, and unconstrained by genre, Toya operates in the space between rave, grime and hip-hop, synthesising her influences into a diverse aesthetic that transcends borders both artistic and geographical.
Colours chats to Toya Delazy ahead of this Friday’s performance to chat about inequality in the industry, new single ‘Funani’ and more.
Your new single ‘Funani’ blends genres from grime and gqom to industrial pop. What was the inspiration behind incorporating these sounds into your music?
I wanted to do a show that also draws from my heritage but also my current life, so I began experimenting with zulu and it’s onomatopeia & mixing it with contemporary british sounds garage, grime and future bassline styles. Afrorave, represents my musical and cultural identity the traditional meeting the future, it’s like a neo zuluristic kasi dimension.. it’s a mouth full but I’m that music nerd..
As an artist that uses their platform to be unapologetically authentic, do you think that racism/homophobia/sexism are issues that need to be addressed by more UK artists to establish a truly equal music scene?
Absolutely, especially if you are being affected by Racism, Homophobia or sexism or see someone else being affected by it, it’s the n your duty to vocalise it. If you keep quiet, you normalize that narrative, you have to do it for the people who haven’t evolved yet so they understand that it’s not okay. Teach them how to treat you.
Who are the artists you’re playing on repeat at the moment?
I’m making Afrorave music so I’m currently listening to everything that is left field, Gqom or afro tech and garage it’s a whole presence and seeing how my my cultural identity melds into it. I’m Listening to lots of playlists & part of a few really cool ones, dummy magazine Band New : The Best new artists – so I’m hearing everything out there & amazing sounds being created… So it’s not a specific artist, my genre Afrorave is indigenous meets the contemperory , traditional meets the future.
What can we expect to see from you this coming year?
I definitely have enough tracks to release an Afrorave album … all my producers are excited to drop something so when the energy is that nice ones gotta move with it…
What can fans expect from your 8th November performance at Colours Hoxton?
My unapologetic multicultural self wrapped in heavy beat bass drops that will make you feel like you are jumping off London bridge with vertigo. Packing stories that will get your heart bulging or your booty bouncing as my dope dance squad Zulu dance, vogue, and wine till it shutdown, you gonna feel it !