Her name means "happiness forever" in Yoruba. Pursuit of that happiness
has taken her on an eclectic musical journey –first emerging as a bandleader
on the Boston music scene performing interpretations of jazz standards and funky,
original tunes -- then relocating to New York where she has been singing and
songwriting for several years. She is presently molding her solo guitar music,
writing songs that reflect her love for lyricism, jazz, samba, mbira music,
folk, funk, and rock.
Highlights in her career include: an interview with Robert Segal
on National Public Radio's All Things Considered; feature articles
in Billboard Magazine, The Boston Sunday Globe, The New Yorker; and a
nomination for best jazz vocalist at the 1999 Boston Music Awards.
She is also remembered affectionately from Sound & Spirit, the popular,
nationally distributed public radio music program.
Along the way, Titilayo has grown a following through a variety of appearances
in the northeast, sold out performances, radio airplay, interviews, and an
Indie film role in Ophelia's Opera. She has sung with the UBB Traditional
Samba Group, Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute, the Siman Entertainment Sinatra
Big Band, the soul/country band called George. She's performed at many New York
clubs like BAM Cafe, Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, The Bitter End,
Acme Underground, Bar Bat, Candela, Creole, Sweet Rhythm, and The Garage.
Titilayo's eclectic core of aesthetic influences trace back
to days studying English and African literature at Yale University.
In addition to singing and touring with the gospel choir, she began
writing and arranging vocal music as founder of Shades, an innovative vocal
ensemble dedicated to performing traditional and contemporary spirituals, gospel,
jazz, folk, and R&B. She further developed her creative methodology while
earning a Master's degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New
England Conservatory of Music. Her conservatory experience embraced
music from the edge where ear training, atonal music, free improvisation,
and hybrid third stream compositions were the norm.
Titilayo is a first generation American. Her mother is from
Nigeria and her father from Mozambique. Her music is enriched with
African proverb and sensibility. She continues to mine and explore this
part of her cultural identity in her music.
Beware the Short Hair Girl, her debut CD, is a collection spiritually
arresting compositions and newly arranged jazz standards, featuring
guest artist, clarinetist Don Byron. Her songwriting expanded beyond
the jazz genre into what Billboard Magazine called "a beautifully realized
journey into pop spiced by contemporary jazz and R&B." Beware was
followed by the release of two EPs Goliath and Reinventing the Wheel.
Both CDs reflect a departure to a more folk rock sound.