I Ya Toyah is a one-woman dark electronic act that’s “here to spread the disease of music and infect the human race.” Her music has the perfect balance of dark atmosphere, unrelenting energy and a thought-provoking message. She released her debut album Code Blue in 2018 and this month she’ll release Code Blue Reloaded, which features a wide range of producers trying their hand at remixing the songs from her debut. Today we’re excited to premiere the video for one of its tracks, “Motion,” which was remixed by Tim Sköld, a producer and musician who’s worked with Shotgun Messiah, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson and Motionless in White.
“I Ya Toyah is one of the very few super exciting things I’ve heard in a long time,” said Sköld. “Ania is just crazy talented and I hope I get to work with her again at some point.”
I Ya Toyah is based in Chicago now but hails from the Eastern European country of Poland. In fact, the name I Ya Toyah means “It’s Just Me” in Polish, which is just one way in which the musician projects her strength, independence and rebel spirit. While electronic and industrial sounds are clearly the foundation of her music, she pulls inspiration from many aspects of life.
“I always say I’m probably influenced by things I don’t even know stuck with me,” said I Ya Toyah. “It’s everything around, it’s coming from observation and emotion caused by things experienced daily. Musically, I’ve always been a metalhead and loved prog and jazz music as well, so a lot of things I write – rhythms, chord progressions, vocal lines – are the results of that deep love towards those styles.”
The video for “Motion (Sköld Remix)” was filmed by Joel Lopez of Lumbra Productions. It’s “a story about what overwhelming demands, speed of life, and ‘motion’ of it all can do to us,” said I Ya Toyah. “It’s a warning tale for all who spend too much energy trying to satisfy others’ expectations without self care and without living life here and now. It is so easy to get lost in the universe of pressure and false ideas of success, to get to the breaking point from which there is no coming back. All that remains is this constant motion in your head leading to further destruction. The video is a reminder that taking care of our mental health is the most crucial thing in order to be well enough to survive.”
“[The] video goes directly with what lyrics represent, and as it could be shown in many different ways – imagination has no limits – myself and Joel Lopez of Lumbra Productions decided simplicity and repeatance of certain elements is the way to emphasize the true meaning of the song. We added contrasting elements of colors and glow to further distort the story,” she said. “Allie Hentron, amazing and talented mua provided the stylization that helped us achieve the desired results here: closing your eyes to switch the reality and deny the existing one only offers temporary solution, no color can cover up the darkness if you don’t truly address it.”
The song moves from a slower, grinding beat with low, pained vocals. The tempo gradually increases and I Ya Toyah’s vocal abilities are pushed to the front of the mix, just in time for the song’s melodic chorus, with the vocalist belting out “I don’t want to be / In this motion / Make it go away.” I Ya Toyah recently toured with Martin Atkins industrial supergroup Pigface, who announced their first tour in 14 years earlier this year.
As far as future touring plans? “There are some plans for the second part of the year, towards early fall but it’s not set in stone and since it involves another musical entity I highly admire, I cannot reveal any details just yet. Top secret,” she said. “Meanwhile, I have some great mini tours and shows planned for the spring and beginning of the summer. One of those shows will be KCMO, for the Women of Underground Concert Series with my talented and amazing friends from Chicago, Lorelei Dreaming and also local powerhouse Morgue VVitch. Another show I have and am very excited for is with Kanga in La Crosse, WI. I have more shows announcements coming in the next week or so – cannot reveal those just yet but it will be posted all over my social media and website once it is made official. I’m dying to share this hot news!”
“I am about to begin writing a new album,” she said. “To be honest, I can’t wait! I’ve been feeling very inspired for a while now, I feel if I don’t start writing I’ll explode! So, it’s all about making the time now. I’ve been very busy with remix album, live show reprogramming and tweaks, and touring/playing shows in general. It’s time to hide in the home studio and make some noise.”