Multifaceted artist Toya Delazy will be dropping her new album “Afrorave Vol. 1” soon.
What’s interesting about the album is that it is recorded in isiZulu and it features Young Mbazo, a local band that’s made up of sons and grandsons of the Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Toya admits that while her sound has evolved over the years, her music still has elements of JEHP ( A fusion of jazz, electro, hip hop, and punk). This time around, she added Afrorave to the mix.
“As I grew, I found an even better way to express and connect and that is through Afrorave where I can celebrate my culture while also communicating and connecting with others. It is the meeting of my traditional and modern world in harmony,” says Toya.
She adds: “The world sometimes makes us feel that it's not possible to be black, educated, and still fiercely proud of one's culture as if it's something to be embarrassed about once you are educated.
“Afrorave, which celebrates our indigenous languages in a rave, can strike a balance, and reconnect us to our culture and to others.”
The London-based musician recently gave fans a taste of what's to come from her forthcoming album by releasing the lead single, “Resurrection”.
Co-produced by South African record producer Mxshi Mo, "Resurrection" is about rebirth and reclaiming who we are as African people in the global society.
“Resurrection is about redesigning yourself. You have to die to your old self and embrace your truth, to die, you have to let go of the ego and only then you will taste the sweet waters of resurrection. Life is all about the power of transformation,” says Toya.
Directed by Cape Town-based Kyle Lewis, the music video is a wild, expressive and surreal conceptual music video that works in African tribal motifs, and zombies.
Check out the music video below:
Born Latoya Nontokozo Buthelezi, the granddaughter of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Zulu princess says her sound is inspired by her heritage and rich culture.
“Knowing your history is an empowering thing. When I travelled overseas I noticed that a lot of POC (people of colour) did not know their history,” said Toya.
The multi-award-winning artist says it is very significant that she is releasing her album during the historic Youth Month.
“This album represents hope for a South African youth that seems to be in deep trouble. 75% unemployment, many graduates and others with doctorates are sitting at home unemployed.
“This is cancerous to the young black consciousness, it feels like we're worse off than the youth of 1976 and it may take a revolution as intense to balance out the scales,” says the star.
She adds: “This album is to wake up the fighting spirit of the youth so they realise that no saviour is coming to help us. It's time to take life by the scruff of the neck, taking care of mental health and aligning and activating our true purpose.”
Toya also touched on some of the challenges the youth of today is experiencing and how these can be overcome.
“The youth of today is facing unemployment, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, toxic religious psychological abuse, sexism, racism, mental health issues, lack of financial support, orphaned and lack of access to education.
“To overcome these challenges we need to address them and then put systems in place to resolve them, like ensuring that all youth get free mental health care would be a great start. Once the mind is sorted out and there is a support system, life can change.
“That is all we need - just a little bit of support. They complain about the youth drinking and doing drugs but imagine inheriting the trauma South African black youth have, and not having anaesthetic for the wounds.”
Toya's latest hit single 'Qhawe' was nominated for ‘Best Produced Music Video’ for this year’s annual South African Music Awards.
She was recently featured as one of ‘17 Women Shaping African Dance And Electronic Music’ in MixMag, the world's biggest dance, music, and clubbing destination.
"Resurrection" is currently available on all streaming platforms, while "Afrorave Vol. 1" is available for pre-order.
The album officially drops on June 18.