Toya Delazy, arguably South Africa’s most visible openly LGBT pop artist, is fighting to allow fans to enjoy her latest album for free.
On Wednesday, Delazy posted on Facebook that she was fed up after frustrated fans weren’t able to find her 2015 SAMA (South African Music Award) nominated album Ascension in stores.
She claimed that artists and record companies have to pay retailers to stock their music.
“My music is about empowerment, love, desire, believing, dreaming – it ain’t about f*cking money,” Delazy insisted.
She then announced that she would allow anyone to listen to Ascension in its entirety for free on SoundCloud and posted a link to the page.
“So let’s break the system, let’s show them how much cash they are losing by not stocking up enough #Ascension albums,” the singer and songwriter said.
It appears, however, that the move – which saw more than 6,000 people listening to the album in 24 hours without paying – was not approved by her record label, believed to be Sony Music Africa.
On Thursday, Delazy revealed that the company had submitted a copyright claim report to SoundCloud, which took the album down from her page.
“On top of being unable to distribute my album, they now make my music completely unaccessible. I feel like I’m in an invisible prison,” exclaimed the annoyed star.
“Now you can’t listen to my music and you can’t buy it in stores, I think that this is just going to lead to piracy, which we can’t even monitor. I won’t even mention the solution they suggested, because it’s just comical and insulting to my craft. It’s difficult to work with peeps that are using methodologies of the 90’s in 2015, everything has changed, especially the way we get music,” she argued.
Delazy, who said that she feels betrayed by her label, promised that, “I will make [the album] available again.”
In November last year, Delazy was praised for releasing a gay-affirming video for the lead single from Ascension, Forbidden Fruit, which includes same-sex couples kissing.
Her first album, Due Drop, won three 2013 SAMAs and scored a 2013 BET Nomination for Best International Act (Africa).