17 April, 2019

TOYAH ON BBC RADIO SUSSEX
WITH MARK CARTER
14.4.2019




MARK CARTER: Congratulations on the new album! I have been listening and I love it! It's a great sound. You must be very proud?
TOYAH: I love it. Some people have described it as pure joy and is a joyous album and there's absolutely no point in me trying to be serious and adult. I do energy and I think this album has it and yes, I really love it. I've been living with some of these songs as long as ten years.

Tracks like “Sensational”, which is being treated as a single at the moment. That was written in 2007 and it's been in my set, in my live touring for all that time and the audience know every single word to it. So I don't know if you know the story of what happened and why this album is being released?
MARK: Go on
TOYAH: (laughs) I will! On my 60th birthday last year the fans downloaded me to number one in the charts and I was unsigned and it lead to many people saying "we can't give you radio play, you have to be a signed artist". So Demon Records picked the album up, we've added five new songs to the album. It's been one hell of a journey getting this into the shops and on the pre-order chart it went straight to number one and of course I've been touring this music for 12 years.

Some of it was only finished in January but my audience know this album and they want it so I feel I've kind of walked backwards into this particular bout of success and it's down to my audience supporting me and I'm very grateful
MARK: An incredibly loyal following that you've had over the years as well?
TOYAH: They're very loyal. I perform live a lot. Mainly in England, I do four shows a week throughout the year. I tour two shows constantly – one is the acoustic show which allows the older members of my audience to feel that they can relax and sit and listen to stories and music and then I have my really loud energetic rock band that tends to play on Saturday and Sundays (they both chuckle) That's when people can dance for 90 minutes.

So I've been doing this – the 80's revival started in 2002 when I was asked if I'd like to play Wembley and I said yeah! (Mark laughs) I've been waiting for 40 years, of course I want to play Wembley! (laughs) I haven't looked back since. It's just been a phenomena. For my generation of artists - the doors just opened and it hasn't stopped


MARK: How fantastic! And “Dance In The Hurricane” is fabulous. It kind of sums up somebody walking through your path in life and that is, may I say, what you've done brilliantly over the years, isn't it?
TOYAH: Well, thank you. “Dance In The Hurricane” I think for me will be my epitaph, it's what I want to be remembered for, it's that one song I feel as an artist, thank you, I know why I've done this for 40 years. We only completed the song in January.

The whole album is just me and my co-writer Simon Darlow, who by the way wrote “Salve To The Rhythm” for Grace Jones. Simon and I started writing when I was 19 and he was 17, that's when we first met and that's how long our relationship has been as writers. 
So “Dance In The Hurricane” started as just the intro with a narrator telling the story of the Crimson Queen and then it went into four bars of drums. And for a year I've been persuading Simon that those four bars of drums is a major song and eventually I pinned him down and we got the song! I finished the lyrics in January, we recorded it, it took a while because I couldn't stop crying while recording it because both of my parent's passed away while making this album -
MARK: Oh gosh
TOYAH: And “Hurricane” is surviving loss and finding positivity and love again. It's a very passionate song that I feel I only could've written at the age of sixty. I love it and to hear you say you love it means a lot
MARK: Thank you. Bonnie Tyler was on the show the other day and she sounded like she is having the time of her life, she is into her sixties and absolutely loves it. She's got a new album out as well at the moment and you sound like this is the best time in your life as well?
TOYAH: I highly recommended it! No one tells young people they've got something to look forward to (laughs) It's fabulous! 30 was hard – my thirties were terribly difficult because you're biologically dealing with everyone asking when are you going to have babies, which I found very very infuriating.

I just found the changes you go through ... I found hard. 40 was great fun! 50 was OK but 60 is magnificent! I'm 61 in May. I have loved very minute so far and it's true – you don't give a damn, therefore you start enjoying it 


MARK: Isn't it funny, I can remember the day after I got married I was asked when will the children be coming along -
TOYAH: Ugh!
MARK: It's odd isn't it, it's really weird -
TOYAH: And no one takes no for an answer -
MARK: No!
TOYAH: I knew all my life I'd never have children but no one listens. It was very very difficult. And I also I found that people who had children didn't trust me. If I went to dinner parties or parties people didn't want to talk to me and that was very peculiar but I'm well through that now
MARK: Good for you. I tell you what, Leslie Ash was in Brighton this week because they're launching this big Quad40 thing, celebrating 40 years of “Quadrophenia”. Can you believe – 40 years?!
TOYAH: Yeah, Leslie, myself and all the cast we've been together a lot. Last year it started kicking in, we made a documentary for Sky Arts and that's everyone from Ray Winstone, Sting, right through to Timothy Spall and all of us on the poster so there's a lot happening this year to do with “Quadrophenia”. I can't tell you just yet because (there's) a lot of surprises but The Who are involved
MARK: Wonderful. And of course a lot of that film is in our neck of the woods in Sussex -
TOYAH: Oh yeah! Tell me about it!
MARK: Love it! Now, how much of your career, I'm intrigued by this - how much of your career in the early days did you manage to shape or was it shaped for you?
TOYAH: I was pretty much the driving force. There's two blades to my career – I'm not the kind of artist that the mega managers want to manage. I'm just not in that league but also people realise I'm very good at managing myself, which is what I do. I'm very quirky, I don't fit in any mold therefore I think my lack of international success has allowed to mold myself into what I am today.

So it's a double edged sword. It's been good, it's been difficult and I think in the long term it's been a blessing. I just don't fit in anywhere and people don't know how to manage me. But I realise because of that I've created my own projects and they've done well. Does that make sense?
MARK: It does make sense, My colleague here who is - I think 49 next month – she said to me "I really wanted to be Toyah because she was the cool one". Were you aware back in the day that you were this person that they were trying to copy, emulate your style?
TOYAH: Oh, definitely! Yes, and I think about 8 years ago a very famous supermarket based it's clothing line on my look in '79 so I am aware of that but I don't behave like an influencer. I just want to be me and I want to be a creative person. I can't give my life to continual Instagram and facebook. I just can't do it. It's too busy. But I am aware of it and I'm also very respectful of it as well


MARK: And you've got two dates coming up in our area quite soon. St John Church in Farncombe – have you played there before?
TOYAH: No
MARK: Brilliant!
TOYAH: This is what I love about doing these acoustic shows – I get to see real places and we play what I call real venues. They're very small, they're very personal. Last week I did a tiny judge house in Otley up in Yorkshire and you'd think these are going to be tame and people just sit down and enjoy it … we had a stage invasion! (Mark laughs) These are very funny events because of the intimacy.

With the acoustic show I tell stories but it is music led. It's me, two guitarists and we all sing. But people get up and they want to sing and they want to dance. It's fantastic! And tell me, where's the other place I'm playing in your area?
MARK: So 10th of May St John's Church in Farncombe and The Haunt in Brighton, which is much later in year, 2nd of November
TOYAH: Yes, that's going to be rocking! That is “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen” tour so that's going to be very loud
MARK: Can't wait to see you in our neck of the woods, Toyah, great to catch up!
TOYAH: Thank you so much Mark, great to talk to you!

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