Pulsing with heady basslines and powerful, quickfire vocals, ‘Qhawe’ is the latest single setting out Toya Delazy as a pioneering artist, bringing her distinct ‘Afro-rave’ music to the world. We caught up with the East London South African MC to talk five tracks that have influenced her.

Following on from the incredible ‘Funani’ last autumn, ‘Qhawe’ sees East London-based Delazy step up the heat even more, teaming up with producers Raf Riley and JOY (Anonymous) for a blistering fusion of squelching club beats and Delazy’s sharp vocals sung in Zulu, her native tongue. The track’s title means “be strong warrior” and Delazy wrote ‘Qhawe’ after her grandmother’s passing. In processing this loss Delazy found empowerment in meditating and reconnecting with her heritage. Speaking on the track she says “This track is a rallying call to my fellow humans to be your own warrior, brace yourself and hold your ground, because that’s what changed my course. By rapping in my native tongue – Zulu – I’m practicing what I preach by being myself and not conforming to current musical norms”.

As she gears up to release her new album this summer, get to know Toya Delazy In Five…

Father Ocean – Ben Bohmer remix edit

This song allows me to fall into myself yeah its deep like the ocean but subtle as my insanity, longing for a rave

Orange SINY – Shinigami

I have been hating going to the shops during this COVOID 19 panic so when I play this song when I skate to that mess.

Take a step back – Ski mask the slump God

This song helps me purge the chaos everything is fucked up and sometimes you need to headbang hard

Yanim – El buho  – camino De flores

I love the language she singing in so familiar yet foreign, also in my ears while shopping helps me keep going.

Mncane – Muzi

Zulu in alternative music slaps and I love how muzi made this touching tune – mncane means young, look after the young ones.

Buy/Stream: ‘Qhawe’

Photo credit: Augustin