Titiyo (born Titiyo Yambalu Felicia Jah, 23 July 1967), is a pop singer-songwriter, from Solna, Sweden. She is stepsister to Eagle-Eye Cherry, half-sister of Neneh Cherry, daughter of Amahdu Jah (her Sierra Leone-born percussionist father, aka Ahmadu Jarr, of The Highlife Orchestra) & Maylen Bergström (her mother). She has won four Swedish Grammys.
It was Neneh 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. She also sang background vocals for a range of Swedish artists, including Army of Lovers and Jakob Hellman.
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.
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.
This Is Titiyo, her second album, followed in 1993. Featuring guest appearances from both of her parents (Titiyo's mother is an accomplished pianist), the album spun off further hits Back and Forth and Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming and, even before Titiyo made her London début at the Astoria in February 1994, garage remixes of several tracks were established club favourites.
Over the next two years, Titiyo's activities were largely confined to guest work. She appeared with the Blacknuss All Stars (It Should Have Been You) and Stakka Bo & the Flesh Quartet ("We Vie"), and duetted with sibling Eagle-Eye Cherry on a track from the Best Laid Plans movie soundtrack, "Worried Eyes." Her own next album, Extended, finally arrived in late 1997, a self-produced/composed epic highlighted by the hit single Josefin Dean.
As usual, another lengthy silence followed the album's release, a four-year gap that was finally broken in 2001 by Come Along. Recorded with the songwriting team of Peter Svensson (the Cardigans) and Jocke Berg (Kent), and produced by Tore Johansson, Come Along received a U.S. release (through Lava) in August 2002.
After a lengthy hiatus, Warner Music released a greatest hits album named Best of Titiyo in 2004, which included a few new songs. One of these songs, Loving Out of Nothing , charted within the top-20 in Sweden in early 2005.
In spring 2008, Titiyo was asked to contribute vocals to Kleerup's single Longing for Lullabies (Feat. Titiyo). Released in April 2008 in Scandinavia, the single has since reached the top 20 in Denmark and top 10 in Sweden.
Titiyo released her fifth album, Hidden, on the Swedish independent label Sheriff late 2008. The album mainly feature self-penned material but also results of collaborations with the likes of Kleerup, Moto Boy, and Goran Kajfes of Oddjob. So far videos for Stumble to Fall and Awakening have been released. Read more on Last.fm
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