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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.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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