What is your name?
My name is Ania, and my project is I Ya Toyah
What is your genre of music?
My music is a mixture of several different influences but it’s most often categorized as dark electronic, industrial, dark pop, dark wave, punk electro and alternative.
Give us a little bio about you.
I come from Poland where I grew up in a very musical environment, attending music institute since the early stage of my life. I came to US with the plan to continue my musical journey, and after several collaborations and bands I decided to go solo, as a one woman industrial electronic army I Ya Toyah. I Ya Toyah, when spoken out loud, in Polish it means It’s Just Me. My logo art emerging from peace and anarchy symbols highlights the rebel psyche – my true nature.
What made you go into music?
Music has been a part of my life since I remember. It was sort of a no brainer, almost like if the music gave me no choice, haha. Since I was a child a presence of instruments, hunger to learn to play them, curiosity about the math behind the music – all these elements combined made me love music so much I knew I wanted to live my life creating it. And then it happened 🙂
Who are your influences?
Life, emotion, observation. Anything that triggers the inner hunger to explore the subject further and talk about it in the form of music.
Are you signed?
No, I am an independent artist
Your new single ‘Concrete’ recently released, tell us more about the single.
Concrete is a song about anxiety. One day I felt like I couldn’t breathe, due to all the commotion that pandemic and lockdown brought, and it felt like my blood was made of concrete, so heavy, too heavy and too hard for the heart to pump. I knew I needed to write a song about it, not only to share the emotion and therapeutically help myself, but also to engage the conversation about mental health and the fact that sometimes we just aren’t ok and it’s fine not to be.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I hope that in 5 years I’ll be able to reflect on my career and life and say: ‘I toured so many corners of the world being able to share my music. I connected with so many people who share the similar discomforts and comforts of life, and my bucket list is full of check marks. I’m happy, healthy, loving and feeling loved, and ready to do more and more and more’.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Carpe Diem. Live here and now, tomorrow may not be given.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
It should be more like, what are 50 things I can’t forget about haha 🙂 Being a one woman act on stage it is very challenging and intense. I own my show production so I set up all the gear, including lights and projection gear. When performing, I work with multiple machines- I am an only human element there. So, in order to oversee it all, to be able to smoothly control all the things, trigger loops, load the patches, play the keys on my midi controller, play on synth, guitar, trigger the effects on pedals, and of course all while delivering an engaging powerful vocal performance and enjoying it to the fullest, I need to be very alert constantly. I play with a click track in my in ear monitor and it helps me keep the track of the count and when I am supposed to start, stop the loops, begin this, end that, ect. At the same time I like to have certain freedoms of doing spontaneous things last minute, so this is another thing that needs to happen in the frames of the whole performance and its design. All this, I have to constantly remember. If I don’t, disasters can happen. Like, one time I forgot to turn off my guitar pedal after creating an extreme noise with my guitar. I automate some things in my DAW for security of listeners’ ears for the Front Of House, but my in ear doesn’t have these measures so that I can react to things going wrong. This noise from the guitar faded as I ended the performance but because I never turned my pedal off, it suddenly picked up right after and made me think something is terribly wrong with my equipment. It took me a moment to realize that it is the pedal, and it’s only in my in- ear. I played a good 1 minute of the show feeling certain everyone hears this noise. So much anxiety! Only because I forgot one of the 50 things I have to remember.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Oh yes, I am all over social media. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter where I go by @iyatoyah . I also have a website that pulls all my info and platforms together: https://www.iyatoyah.com/ Please stop by and say hi!