Interview: Titiyo Speaks on Musical Inspiration

If you not sure who Titiyo is then it is a fact that life has not yet started for you. Titiyo a Swedish mega star, while the title of Sweden’s “Queen of Soul” might not seem one of modern music’s most coveted crowns but, in Sweden itself, there is little doubt that Titiyo not only merits all the acclaim lavished by her homeland, but that international acclaim has already demolished borders across much of Europe too.

It was Cherry who first pointed Titiyo in the direction of performing, encouraging her to sing and prompting her, too, to seek out musical directions that Swedish pop had rarely visited in the past. By 1987, Titiyo was fronting her own band, performing rare groove covers on the Stockholm circuit before signing to the local Telegram label in 1989.

Titiyo scored her first hit that June, when “Talking to the Man in the Moon” climbed to number six on the Swedish chart. “After the Rain” reached number 13 in November and the following summer brought Titiyo’s self-titled debut album. It reached number three and also brought her to the attention of American audiences, via a well-received Arista release. An imminent breakthrough, however, was placed on hold when Titiyo withdrew for two years to raise her newborn first child; it was September 1993 before she resurfaced, with a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Never Let Me Go,” a number 25 Swedish hit.

Daniel: How has 2009 been treating you? Is it safe to say that it’s been a good year?!

Titiyo: “One of the best ever.”

Daniel: What part of the music life and your music career do you like the most?

Titiyo: Definitely the part since hidden started to take form in 2008.

Daniel: When was it when you first realized that you were blessed with such an amazing voice?

Titiyo: Thank you! maybe when I played to my mother a recording that i had made in my room. She loved it so much she started to cry. I was about 17 and very shy, so that was the first time anyone heard me sing since I was a child.

Daniel: That is sweet, indeed! What is it that you draw upon for a musical inspiration, or inspiration for life? Who inspires you Titiyo!

Titiyo: Music inspires in December is Vashti Bunyan, The Doors, Flash and the Pan, Vivaldi, Maps, Roberta Flack. My Bloody Valentine live was a big inspiration. Like watching a Stilleben with a landing plane just above your head, fantastic!

Daniel: What have you been up to lately?

Titiyo: Well, I’m working on a record as a side project called Keep Company. I’m doing duetts with Theodor Jensen. I’m also working on something that I have invented….. Can’t tell you more than that !! hehe…. (smiles)

Daniel: I’ve haven’t been to Stockholm (yet) what are good places to go out to? I spoke to Andreas Kleerup just about a month ago, asked him the same question and he sent me to his brother he said he’d know better! Perhaps you can give me a better answer !

Titiyo: *Titiyo laughs* I would also say — ask his brother. you need to hook up with people that are into the same stuff as you, you know?. Strand is a good music club.

Daniel: What has been the most difficult part of breaking through into this industry?

Titiyo: Dealing with my own head, moments of doubts. Luckily they are only moments.

Daniel: What has been the most rewarding?

Titiyo: The appreciation of hidden from all over.

Daniel: Everyone have these moments that they just wish they could go back in time and once again, experience them.. With some many places you’ve been and seen I wonder, which part of your life would be yours?

Titiyo: 1990 when I went to see my relatives in Sierra Leone. I havent been there since then. Many of them are gone now.

Daniel: Deep. Very deep. Family is indeed, everything in life. So what are your hopes for 2010? What are your plans to stop by NY City?

Titiyo: Hopes.. to play at Festivals outside of Scandinavia. Anything for new years as longest I get to eat duck liver (organic of course) and drink….. a lot! And in regards to NY City, yes, please!