Listen to Toya Delazy's 'Forbidden Fruit,' The First Single Off Her Forthcoming 'Ascension' LP

South African singer/songwriter/pianist Toya Delazy shares "Forbidden Fruit," the first single off her upcoming 'Ascension' LP.

KwaZulu-Natal-born singer/songwriter/pianist Toya Delazy is the creator of the musical fusion "J.E.H.P." (jazz-electro-hop-pop). Since sitting down with Okayafrica in NYC to perform a moving piano ballad rendition of her breakthrough song "Pump It On" for our Okay Acoustic series, Delazy has kept busy readying the release of her sophomore album Ascension. This week she delivered on the record's first single. "Forbidden Fruit," a gospel-tipped cauldron of throbbing drums and jittery electronic spurts, is unquestionably one of Delazy's most thrilling songs yet. Darker than the merry "Heart" and the triumphant "Pump It On" from her debut album Due Drop, "Forbidden Fruit" has a hellish ferocity– though one that ultimately expresses a warmer belief. As Delazy comments on the song, "You love who you love. This life has no rules, there is no instruction manual, we don't live to find ourselves, we live to create ourselves..." While a certain lonesomeness may underlie this idea, it could actually speak to a kind of glorious individualism. So while Delazy may, as she sings, be "cut in two" over the person she loves, she can't help but savor the joy and freedom and like the "guilty pleasures" that come along with her ever-growing affection for her partner. Despite its infernal nature and perhaps existentially tortured lyrics ("What should I do?/I'm cut in two"), "Forbidden Fruit" is then, at its core, a love song.

Speaking on Ascension, Delazy (who co-produced the album) explains "It's about rising as a person, as a nation, as humanity, through knowing, growing the inner wealth, and becoming." The record, then, is one of a very intriguing and ever relevant theme. As "Forbidden Fruit" shows, though, it's also one of deeply felt emotion– the type of album that could only be the result of a musician's passion and fearlessness. Ascension is due out October 28th via Sony Music Africa. In the meantime listen to the first single "Forbidden Fruit" below and watch Toya perform the "song that liberated her" in the Okay Acoustic session below.

>>>Okay Acoustic: Toya Delazy "Pump It On"

Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery

The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019

1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."

Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957

Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:


31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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Listen to Sibusile Xaba‘s New Jazz Single 'Umdali'

Sibusile Xaba's single 'Umdali' featuring Naftali and Fakazile Nkosi comes ahead of Brownswood Recording's highly-anticipated contemporary jazz compilation album 'Indaba Is'.