Video

Okay Acoustic: Toya Delazy 'Pump It On'

South African singer Toya Delazy shares "the song that liberated her" for the latest Okay Acoustic session on OkayafricaTV.


Toya Delazy sits atop South Africa's electro-pop throne as the founder and reigning queen of J.E.H.P. (the term she coined for her fusion of jazz-electro-hop-pop). But back before she was the South African Music Award's newcomer of 2013 for her high energy solo debut, the KwaZulu-Natal-born music and streetwear icon was a young pianist/vocalist by the name of Latoya Buthelezi. Toya got her start in the music industry, she told us, playing acoustic music for the punks around Durban's pub scene. And so when we caught a glimpse of this acoustic footage, we knew we'd have to get Toya behind a piano on her most recent trip to New York City. "Pump It On," she explained, is the song that "liberated" her. It was her very first single and its video remains her most viewed clip to date. Where Toya is from, "music is not seen as a career," she told us. That all changed with "Pump It On," and OkayafricaTV was very fortunate to sit down with Toya as she performed her breakthrough song as a piano ballad for the latest installment of our Okay Acoustic series. Watch Toya Delazy's live acoustic performance of "Pump It On" below.

Producer: Allison Swank

Videographers: Lance Steagall + Jay Sprogell

Sound Engineer: Robert Lux

Editor: Jay Sprogell

Watch OkayafricaTV and OkayplayerTV's previous Okay Acoustic sessions from Kae Sun, Jon Batiste, and Liam Bailey.

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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