Packing a distinct cross-continental sound & Zulu-afrofuturistic visuals, London-based South African MC, Toya Delazy, shares the inspiration behind the song
Please share with us the inspiration behind the song, funani?
Funani means what do you want in isizulu. The song is about going for what you want, as well as being what you want to be. Express yourself – life is better that way!
The music (or entertainment) industry can be a harsh one, what, from your experience, is your advice to up-and-coming artists about how to remain relevant and build a strong, successful brand?
Be honest about who you are, don’t go into the industry imitating other people. Tell your story, people can sniff out pretence. Be original – so what hasn’t it been done before? If you believe in it, pioneer it, and respect your craft. Most importantly though, use your energy to find partners and collaborators that believe in you – forget the naysayers.
You are now based in London, what led that decision to pursue a career in another country?
I wanted to go back to the heart of what I began musically, and not get pulled into the commercial hype. I am an autobiographical artist. I talk about my life and the plan is not to churn songs only to sell. It’s my calling, and when I have something to say I speak and when I don’t I chill. I felt I needed to find my inspiration and see the world to get an understanding of global culture.
What have been some of your highlights in your career in 2019?
There are so many great moments, but the stand out highlight is definitely performing at UK BLACK PRIDE in Haggerston Park in the London Borough of Hackney.
READ MORE: My Journey To Success With Toya De Lazy
Who do you target and hope relates to the music you make?
Anyone really – but mostly black women and communities that have been maligned, just sharing a different point of view.
Are there any tours or single promotions or upcoming album planned for the rest of the year?
I just dropped a new single last week called Funani with a super afro-spacey music video shot in Tembisa directed Kyle Lewis. I would love folks to check it out and subscribe to my YouTube channel … judging by the feedback so far, I am looking to release an Afro-rave album sometime … watch the space!
How have you grown as an artist over the past few years?
I believe in my vision more. I am the CEO of my own galaxy and I know my lane as I have learnt a lot about the music business. There are projects I want to revisit and improve, like another clothing range. The last one I did with Legit sold out successfully across the African continent. I also have plans to start another all-female rap crew….
Which artist or producer is on your collaboration bucket list and why?
Kanye West … I really dig the guy musically. As long as his music is intact, I would love to create something with him. Let’s just say that I’m putting that out to the universe!
What are your short-term goals, career-wise?
Well, finishing off the songs I have recorded for my Afro-rave album is top of the list.
Lastly, what are your success tips to young people?
If you want to build a career you have to love what you do, do not do it for money only. Choose something you are good at, work at it and improve on it and if it feels right to you, then go for it. Trust your instinct. Treat the other players kindly and collaborate with folks that you vibe with. Watch how much you drink and if it gets too much – meditate!