Tuesday 15 August 2017


The swirling hypnotic synth, the gentle nature of it, makes you feel that you're in good hands, that you're in a safe, comfortable place; these cushions of sound, these soft fluttering filtered noises, fading into the negative space left lovingly at the heart of 'Kekeke', providing the perfect backdrop for the vocals of London-based South African musicmaker and singer, Toya Delazy. Sung in Zulu, her mother tongue, the artist channels her great-grandmother – actual Zulu royalty, Princess Constance Magogo KaDinuzulu, "one of the first indigenous female composers," she tells us – by infusing the praise singing traditions of her ancestor with contemporary surroundings that fizz contemporarily energetic. "I wanted to bring back the concept of praise singing in a modern setting, almost in a slam sort of way," Toya explains.

So we have this bright voice, a vocal that seems to shine as it calls into the mists of synth that curl as the track's backdrop, just a few portions of percussion to help solidify the frame surrounding the blissfully content yet far-flung and nostalgic singing. A sparse scattering of a beat thuds lo-fi four-to-the-floor whilst hi-hats scrape, in a section where the vocals turn to something more akin to rap: the lower pitch, the rapidity, the low-slung laid-back nature of it, the superb simplicity of it, the airy instrumental letting the words breathe. "The song is about the hypocrisy of people talking behind your back and the crooked smile they wear when they next see you," Toya explained the song's Zulu lyrics over email. "No matter how pearly white the smile, beware the crocodile."

Toya Delazy Internet Presence ☟
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