Chart-topper, Unicef ambassador and voice of the 4th PowerPuff Girl on Cartoon Network, Toya Delazy is a musician, from Durban, South Africa. Her music is a blend of Jazz, Electro and Hip-Hop (she calls it JEHP).
Following the success of her debut album “Due Drop”, which got her a BET Award nomination, and the recent announcement of her voicing the first black PowerPuff Girl, Toya Delazy continues her rise as one of the most versatile and exciting new talents boasting from Africa, with the release of her latest album ‘Uncommodified’’ in 2017.
The new art piece shows Toya’s creative growth, adventuring in future bass and grime sounds, with a touch of soul.
We caught up with Toya ahead of her headlining show at Sessions 58 on Monday 9th July.
Looking Glass: What are your earliest musical memories?
Toya Delazy: Singing with my grandad in the car on his way to work.
LG: What are the most iconic influencers behind your musical expression (JEHP)?
TD: Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, and Gorillaz - they have never been shy of blending genres. Each time I tell people about JEHP they are surprised it can be done. Eclectic is the new black yo!
LG: Do you get creators’ blocks and how do you deal with them?
TD: Yes when I'm stressed ... I have to just forget about creating music until my creative well is replenished.
LG: How does it feel to be Unicef Ambassador in South Africa?
TD: It's a great responsibility to represent African girls. I get to show a different side to the African female narrative, which is in need of a rebrand. Africa has the worlds’ young demographic booming with ideas. It's really great to have the UNICEF platform to help people unlearn some of the negatives that may be continuing towards African woman and children, addressing work space, the classroom, home life , etc.
LG: How can music influence social change, in your opinion?
TD: It goes without saying that music is the most powerful tool to influence society, especially when people resonate with the music & it appeals to their conscience and beliefs. By being vulnerable as an artist, you can really make the most of that connection and feed people with positivity, talk about stories that others may relate to and not feel alone in the situation. That is how you connect.
LG: Tell us a bit about your latest music releases.
TD: London Town is my latest single, I recently shot the music video with Frosted Ice and it looks bomb. It's about the London mentality and diversity, how we connect with each other is how this town runs through us. To discover this city, you have to be able to get through it and connect with other people, otherwise it can be very lonely. The song went to #3 on the UK club chart and I'm hoping people vibe with it. It’s available on Spotify and ITunes - the video is dropping soon.
LG: What does it take to run your own record label, Delazy Entertainment?
TD: A clear vision, a great business manager (I'm lucky to have Alisson Chaigneau). Give it time, handle funds correctly and allocate accordingly so the projects can grow. I'm getting lots of experience working with the major companies like Turner after partnering with them through Cartoon Network, the levels keep climbing and my vision with it...
LG: Last but not least, if your sound was a flavour what would that be?
TD: It would be Fanta Grape Tangy AF.