Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
9 Oct 2014
8:00 am

Toya Delazy is going global

Genevieve Vieira

It's no secret a career in the performing arts is hard work. Even those who have already established themselves in the public eye admit it's a constant struggle to remain relevant and on top of your game.

JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY. Toya Delazy brings a fresh and exciting sound to the SA music landscape. Pictures: Supplied

When Latoya Nontokozo Buthelezi, better known as Toya Delazy, rose to national stardom with her debut album Due Drop, the sky was the limit. It was still early days but the promising performer had already signed a record deal to Sony Music Africa, and was awarded Newcomer of the Year and Best Pop Album at the 2013 SA Music Awards (Samas).

Hit single after hit single, the time had come for a new album and Delazy was faced with the question: what’s next?

COVER ART. Toya Delazy releases her second studio album Ascension. Picture: Supplied.

COVER ART. Toya Delazy releases her second studio album Ascension. Picture: Supplied.

To stay in the game she would have to raise the bar, meeting the expectations of already established fans, while exposing her talent to a much larger, possibly even global, audience.

Having grown up in a very religious household in KwaZulu-Natal, she attended a convent hostel where she was sheltered from the “big bad world”.

Now fully grown and independent, Delazy sought inspiration through travel.

“I had to leave Joburg to recreate myself,” she says, and so as a means to free her mind she packed her bags and jetted off to Thailand, via Bangkok and finally to New York City.

What she found not only defined her new musical styling but shaped her into the person she is today – a more mature, exuberant Delazy unafraid to take the risk.

She recalls on the streets of Bangkok being inspired by her surroundings and breaking out into song.

She explains: “Right there and then I knew I had to write a song – and so I grabbed my manager’s phone, pushed record and began singing. My creativity was at its peak and I even took up producing parts of the album.”

Alluding to her time in the US, she says: “There is so much liberty over there and they keep things fresh. If you are ready to discover; if you are ready to listen; if you are ready to create … you are definitely ready to ascend. The global culture has become a part of me and, though the new material is a little different (there’s a strong electro sound present) to Due Drop, the main jazz-hip-pop sound is still there. The songs are also less about young love and heartbreak and more about inner wealth.”

Toya Delazy’s new album, Ascension, is set for release this October.