Can't Wait To Be Diva For The Day
the early 80s, Toyah reigned supreme as the
British queen of punk and new wave.
Roll on 30 years and she's about to add a new
string to her bow - that of dance princess!
Yesterday saw the release of her first ever dance
single, Fallen, and it's predicted to make the
No one is more surprised than Toyah herself.
She says she was contacted by DJ Paul Masterson,
aka Yomanda, who said he had a backing track and
asked if she would be interested in writing a
vocal to it.
'It was very casual with no plans,' she adds.
'About six weeks later he set up a studio with
The Prodigy's engineer. We went in and did the
vocal in one take. Within two hours we had done
it all. Within a week he got back to me and said
he'd played it to big industry people who had
just gone, "Yes, we'll take it".
'It has grown in a really organic way. The
chemistry was there and everything just worked.
This is a song going to an audience who have no
idea who I am and they are liking the song and I
think that is incredibly important, that the
music is speaking above everything else, and I
think it gives it a lease of life.
'It's so exciting and it's lovely that this is
happening, especially around this time. It's very
'I know nothing about dance. I'm a rock singer
and I write classical rock lyrics. I'm very good
at the weird and wonderful and anthemic bravado.'
Now 53, Toyah is as busy as she was in her 80s
heyday. In fact, it is 30 years since the release
of her greatest success, the album Anthem, which
spawned the hits It's A Mystery and I Want To Be
Free. She's hitting the road in celebration of
that milestone with a succession of gigs around
the country, and she will be wearing the original
There are no northern dates at present but the
likelihood is some could be added in the new
She will, though, be in the North on October 1,
headlining at Cumbria Pride.
'I've got a really great gay following.' she
tells me, 'You are playing to an audience who
have experienced sometimes being outside of
society and having to fight for their rights.
'I wouldn't say they are hugely political, but
they are people who want to be together and share
something together. There is a huge feeling of
camaraderie and they tend to love their divas, as
'I don't really think I'm a diva! But you are
embraced totally on the day. I'll be doing Fallen
and all the hits.
Toyah will appear on the main stage at about 9pm,
then will perform at Outrageous in English
Street, Carlisle at about 12.30am.
You can check out Toyah's
tour dates at www.toyahwillcox.com/gigs
(Interview by Gordon Barr)
19th September 2011