• Sweden edition
 
Titiyo: Swedish music royalty
Photo: Annika Aschberg

Titiyo: Swedish music royalty

Published: 02 Jun 2009 16:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Jun 2009 16:27 GMT+02:00

Titiyo greets the staff at the chic Stockholm coffee shop with familiarity. Arriving straight from the gym, dressed casually and wearing little makeup, she looks healthy and 10 years younger than her 41 years.

Her family is Swedish music royalty, older sister is superstar Neneh Cherry and her brother is Eagle Eye Cherry, best known for the 1997 hit “Save Tonight.”

The winner of four Swedish Grammies, Titiyo returned with new album “Hidden” at the end of last year after a seven year hiatus and is about to embark on a summer of concerts and festivals. Once dubbed the “Queen of Swedish Soul,” her protracted timeout has given her a new spark of creativity and a different musical direction.

“I was listening to [Radiohead frontman] Thom Yorke’s solo album and it gave me a lot of inspiration,” she remembers. “It reminded me that a song doesn’t just have to be verse-chorus-verse.”

Having not written any songs for 2001 hit album “Come Along,” she admits it was a big step to start writing again. Encouragement from friends and family helped.

“I went to a music store and I wanted to buy the cheapest, oldest synthesizer – it was a monster!” she laughs.

“I took it down to the most basic level and once I started I couldn’t stop. I was almost in a trance,” she adds. “I would start at 11 at night and when my daughter woke at 7 the next morning I would still be working and she would wonder what I was doing.”

Titiyo grew up in an artistic house. Her father was a drummer from Sierra Leone and her mother performed in theatre. While she appreciates their influence now, she admits that it wasn’t always the case.

“I just wanted to fit in,” she says. “Guys all liked the blonde haired, blue eyed girls and being not only black, but hippies too, I could be so embarrassed when I was a teenager.”

She was also shy when it came to her voice.

“I would perform duets in my bedroom with Aretha Franklin when nobody else was in the house,” she recalls with a smile.

“Then one day I recorded myself and played it back to my Mum and she started crying.”

Siblings Neneh and Eagle Eye live in Stockholm too and she says although their conversations rarely turn to music, they are all very supportive of each others' careers.

“Neneh has been one of the biggest influences in my life,” she says.

“My first album was released in England at the same time as hers and it was rough to be compared to her as it has never been a competition between us,” she says with frustration. “But when I look back now I looked so much like her and she laughs at me now for that.”

Titiyo talks with pride about her self-penned latest album and says she is finding new respect from an indie audience. She seems to have found her passion for music again.

“I want to keep the creativity going,” she enthuses, “I’m writing now and there will definitely not be another seven years of no albums.”

Keith Moore (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven
Stefan Löfven: a man with a lot on his plate. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven has started talks to form a new government, but the former welder faces huge challenges in bringing together an administration that will work. The Local explains why. READ  

Business
Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

UPDATED: Microsoft announced on Monday that it was buying Swedish company Mojang, which was behind the hit game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion (17.9 billion kronor). READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm
A business meeting in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm

Does the dream of your very own business in Stockholm seem unattainable? It may be much, much closer than you think. Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia - and its possibilities are endless. READ  

Elections 2014
Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'
Maria Rankka, head of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, is worried about restrictions on foreign workers coming to Sweden. File photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD /TT

Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'

Sweden’s currency took a hit and business leaders warned of a rocky road ahead as the country awoke on Monday to the prospect of a left-led government for the first time in eight years. READ  

My Swedish Career
How I became a surf blogger in Sweden
John Brodie's back. Photo: Private

How I became a surf blogger in Sweden

Surf's up with The Local's Swedish Career chat this week. We've taken a turn from the norm and talked to John Brodie who's kicking off what looks like a promising career in surf writing. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit
Reinfeldt hands his resignation to speaker Per Westerberg. Photo: TT

Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit

Outgoing Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has handed in his resignation after his right-wing Alliance was defeated at the polls on Sunday. His Finance Minister Anders Borg has announced he is leaving politics too. READ  

Analysis
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates in Stockholm. Photo: TT

How Sweden Democrats went mainstream

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats have become the third largest party in a country famous for its egalitarian ideals. The Local's Maddy Savage explores the reasons for their success. READ  

Elections 2014
ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis

The Local blogged live throughout Sunday night as our reporters watched Reinfeldt resign as prime minister, Löfven declare he was ready to lead the red-greens and the Sweden Democrats celebrate becoming Sweden's third largest party. READ  

Interview
Green Party: 'We didn't succeed'
Green Party co-leader Gustav Fridolin. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Green Party: 'We didn't succeed'

While the Green Party did not become Sweden's third political force as it hoped, it is set to govern alongside new prime minister Stefan Löfven. The Local spoke with Gustav Fridolin, one of the party's two co-leaders. READ  

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014
Is the the Alliance's last photo op as Sweden's government? Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014

The Local reported live from the main parties' election events on Sunday night. Our reporters shared their insights ahead of the results. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Blog updates

12 September

EU sanctions: necessary, effective and timely (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written about the Russia-Ukraine crisis here. Today I’ve chosen to share an article by the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, with my readers: This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political..." READ »

 

12 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, With the Swedish election just days away, we’ve spent the week bringing you the latest headlines from the final stages of the campaign. Polls suggest that the gap between the ruling Alliance parties and the Social Democrat-led opposition is narrowing, but the result is far from certain. We’ve put together a list of five possible..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

846
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN