Contributor’s Note: Out of Chicago, William of Madness To Creation caught up with the one woman industrial act I Ya Toyah on what is coming up for 2021 along with mental health awareness and her “Code Blue Revelations” music. I Ya Toyah is a true artist in every sense of the word. She’s a multi-instrumentalist and she also creates the light shows for her performances. She has taken her brand of music and has toured the Midwest and worked with some significant names in the underground industrial music scene. 2021 promises to be an even bigger year for I Ya Toyah. Fans can find I Ya Toyah at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: What gets you through the difficult times?
I Ya Toyah: It’s definitely the music, people, and…my dog Benek. In terms of music, it is mostly the songwriting that helps me, following the rules: when life gives you lemons… make a lemonade 🙂 Creating is my cure. Also, once I lay my dark feelings down- whether it is in DAW, in the written word form, or on piano, guitar- it helps me get perspective, find solutions, it just really is a form of therapy that allows me to see there is more to everything that I’m able to see in the current moment, with naked eye. As far as the people, when I feel most vulnerable I like to hide away, be on my own. But in reality that phone call from a friend, that text message from another- these things can really help during dark times. In the most lonely state of mind it’s good to know we are not alone.
Lastly, Benek- my doggo and also Emotional Support Animal. Caring for him, watching over him is my best cure. I forget about my personal problems, because what else can possibly matter more than the bellyrubs, walks, treats… Literally every time I am in funk, I do something nice for Benek. Something special, like I’ll drive with him to the woods and watch him having the time of his life in the new surroundings, in nature. And everytime it brings me back to my strong self.
Madness To Creation: What got you into music?
I Ya Toyah: It must have been either a deeper calling, or invisible connection. I can’t tell- I startedshowing the signs of musicality when I was a couple months old. And it just happened that music was always with me, in my life. At the age of 5 I picked up a guitar, and soon after I went to a music institute for a proper education. I remember music studies being ‘this thing’ that helped me with ADHD and anxiety.
Madness To Creation: Tell us about your current project, what were some challenging and rewarding aspects?
I Ya Toyah: I’m finishing my Out of Order E.P. as we speak, it is in its final mixing wraps, then mastering and… ready for release early 2021. The challenge was and is there, and it is rather unusual due to the nature of this year. Almost every micro part of preparations for this upcoming release has been affected or distorted by Covid pandemic reality. But at the same time, this EP would not be if not the pandemic. I started writing it the moment pandemic became a thing, it was a natural reaction to everything happening. This uncertainty, all the tour plans cancelled- and I had great and extensive touring plans for this year- family members getting sick with Covid, sudden income problems, this total chaos naturally brought the need to get these feelings out. So I started writing the lyrics and music and exploring the ideas of sounds that will translate these emotions properly. And this became a rewarding part. Me suddenly learning the outcomes of this pandemic in the positive thing creativity is. This EP is definitely another level of self discovery and I can’t wait to share it with the world!
Madness To Creation: The soundtrack to your life is from this artist/band and why?
I Ya Toyah: Oh, this is different for every day to be honest. It could be death metal one day and then synthwave the next. And then jazz, just because. Silence is the big part of it too. There is so much music in me, in my head, there are many moments when I just need to surround myself with no music, only nature sounds.
Madness To Creation: What has been the biggest blessing and curse about going through the pandemic? How has it affected you mentally?
I Ya Toyah: I guess the greatest blessing of it all is that we are still alive. I truly stopped worrying about all the cancelations of plans, and all the mental hardship associated with the fact that this year was supposed to be so awesome for my career, and started thinking in terms of survival. Because the truth is, this became our job #1 this year. Everything else is sort of irrelevant. And because of that, I feel truly blessed that regardless of all happening I was still able to write and produce the upcoming album and create all the art around it, collaborate on many amazing projects with great artists, organize Art Auction for Mental Health During the Times of Pandemic to raise the funds for AFSP ( it raised $2,451: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/Art-Auction-for-Mental-Health-13108 ), and spend time with close Family/Friends and my dog Benek. The latter is especially important as normally with the way I Ya Toyah stays busy I would not have the opportunity to enjoy all this time with them. With live music and tours put on hold, little nature getaways, small trips- they kept me and my mental health in check.
Madness To Creation: Are there any songs of yours, published or unpublished that perhaps mentally served as a vehicle of therapy? Are there perhaps any that dealt with a subject too painful, that you didn’t want to release them?
I Ya Toyah: All my music touches the subject of mental health- some song directly, and others with the hidden layer of meanings. The song Code Blue is one of those that speak about mental health and suicide in the direct form. Flashback is another one .Time Machine, Glass Eyes, … Basically my debut record Code Blue is devoted to the subject of mental health, and so are the Code Blue Reloaded and Code Blue Revelations remix releases. On the upcoming album Out of Order all 5 songs that are a part of it explore the idea of alienation, reclusion, insanity, anxiety, uncertainty, and honestly writing them helped me survive this pandemic. These were the feelings I was experiencing, and these were emotions people around me had troubles dealing with. It’s a healing thing when you’re able to share what you feel. It’s always healthy to let the stressful factors go, instead of keeping them inside, but we don’t always have this comfort. Again, I feel blessed that through my art I’m able to have this catharsis.
Madness To Creation: What do you hope for in 2021?
I Ya Toyah: I’m hoping for the pandemic to go away, and for live music to return. I’m hoping that weall reunite through the experience of live performances without risking our health and life. I really want to get back on the road and connect with my fans while promoting my sophomore record.
Madness To Creation: What’s next?
I Ya Toyah: Anything and everything. I definitely cannot wait to drop the Out of Order E.P. It will be happening early next year so everybody who reads this, please stay tuned and look out for announcements. There will be early access made exclusively on my bandcamp before any other platforms, so follow I Ya Toyah at https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/ to get all the alerts. Other than this, I’m just excited to begin the programming and rehearsing process for the new material, and hopefully get on the road at some point in 2021, when the world will be ready to have live music again.
And there you have it! Check out I Ya Toyah via Spotify below: