Toya is top of the music sceneComment on this story
Her singles Pump it On and Love Is In The Air brought a fresh sound in the SA music scene. Her music came around the time when South Africans were still enjoying the different sound of Zahara, and she came and added to the excitement.
Her sound is unique and there is no easy way of describing it. However, Toya Delazy says it is a fusion of jazz, electro hop and pop.
“I call it JEHP and it’s definitely something that is different and appeals to many listeners,” said Delazy, born Latoya Buthelezi.
She describes her debut album Due Drop which was released in April as a “lucky packet” where everyone walks away with something.
It’s been a year since Delazy broke into the music industry and she says she has found the journey educational, and “an amazing experience”.
“I had to grow up really quickly; I had to learn the business of music and I had to understand that my life was changing,” she says.
Her songs have topped radio charts and continue to ride the crest of a wave.
“I’ve been getting tweets and messages from fans and they really seem to be digging it thus far,” says Delazy.
However, she is still working on growing her fan base to promote her album.
She was also working on a collaboration but won’t reveal any details about it.
Do you have any regrets in your life?
No, life is too beautiful to have regrets.
Describe yourself in three words?
Adventurous, thrill-seeking and loving.
What are you bad at?
Doing dance routines. I really struggle to get them right. It involves a lot of structure and I’m not good with structure so I have to work really hard.
What is your weakest point?
I would have to say that I can be a bit too sensitive sometimes.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
I can remember fainting in the kitchen when I was really young; I’m not even sure how old I was. After fainting all I can remember is waking up in a helicopter.
What is your favourite film?
Who should play your character if they were to make a film about your life?
Skin from Skunk Anansie.
What was the happiest day of your life?
When I got signed by Sony Music.
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
Claude François. Unfortunately he’s passed away but if he was alive I would have loved to have met him. He was an amazing pop artist from France and he’s often been described as the man who introduced dancing to France.
What did you want to be growing up?
Either a vet or a doctor.
What book changed your life?
When did you last cry?
At the after party of my album launch. It was an amazing night and it just hit home that my mom wasn’t there to experience it with me. I think I was just also overwhelmed by the support. It was just an amazing achievement.
Who makes you laugh?
My best friend, Ally.
You have a very interesting dress style. How would you describe your style?
Style is a way for me to express myself. My mom was very stylish. I come from a very conservative background but I like my street wear and I mix it up with vintage items. I like to arrange my outfits so they are still funky with a classical touch.
What irritates you about this country?
The fact that we have an amazing constitution and sometimes it seems as though people are trying to change that. I’m all for people reviewing our constitution, but I don’t want the next generation taking a step backwards, when so many fought for what we have achieved.
Where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
Hopefully I would have completed my second album. I also hope that I’ve done some amazing collaborations with brilliant artists. And I see myself being a traveller and exploring the world.
What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who aren’t scared; who aren’t afraid to be themselves. They inspire me to be myself and to stay true to who I am.
What do you like about living in South Africa?
I love the diversity of the country. I have met so many people from different walks of life and I think that teaches you so much. I want to take my music overseas, and I know SA has given me a solid foundation. I know I can interact with different cultures, experience different countries and appreciate our differences. I also love the fact that we have 11 official languages.
Where is your favourite part of the country?
Nature’s Valley, near Plettenberg Bay.
Somebody must do something about …
Education. Education is what sets us apart, not race or gender but the level of education. I think we definitely need to improve our education system.
You’ve been described as the “coolest kid” on the block. How do you feel about that?
I’m chuffed! It’s humbling to know that people think I’m cool, but I hope being a cool kid means I’m driven and fresh – that’s cool.
If you were to be an animal which one would you be? Why?
I know it doesn’t exist, but I’d love to be a unicorn. They’re so mystical and free, they independent and strong.