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Pop with a screw loose
by Agge Sjöbom, assignment editor

She defines her music as “pop with a screw loose.”

“It has influences of soul and pop, and it has kind of fallen in between,” singer Titiyo said April 18 in a telephone interview from Stockholm. “It is pop with a twist.”

Titiyo is a household name as a soul singer in Sweden, her home country. “Come Along,” her most recent hit, further expanded her fame across Europe. And after its U.S debut June 3, everyone here will know her too.

“Here in Europe it did fantastically well,” she said.

The album, also titled Come Along, is Titiyo’s fourth, and it will be released sometime in August in the United States. Come Along is also the only album for which she hasn’t written anything herself.

“Partly because [I had] little inspiration to write,” she said. “And I hadn’t written any hits.” She wanted to compile something good and commercial too. After careful thinking, she approached Peter Svensson, from The Cardigans, and Joakim Berg, from the Swedish-only singing group Kent, to write for her. The dynamics between Titiyo, Svensson, Berg, and producer Tore Johansson, seems to have paid off.

“For every song they wrote, the happier I got,” Titiyo said.

In interviews Titiyo has said that her singing is more masculine now than on her previous albums. “I think it has to do with the lyrics,” she said. “You can hear that it is guys who wrote the songs,” she added and laughed.

Normally the lyrics Titiyo sings lean towards classic soul, this time they don’t have the complexity that soul tends to have. “They are simpler and more straight forward, yet with a lot of thought,” she said.

There was a challenge to this transition: “To head into a new territory musically without making it sound corny,” she said and laughed.

Fortunately, due to her multi-range voice, the result was more than satisfactory. “It worked because my voice is somewhat sophisticated,” Titiyo said.

Of all the albums she has made, she personally prefer her second album, This is… Titiyo, 1993. She wrote it with her producer/boyfriend at the time, Magnus Frykberg, who is also the father of their child Femi, now 9 years old.

“We wrote the album when we were pregnant,” she said. “How in the hell could I write such good songs?” She said and laughed.

In an interview on one of the Websites dedicated to her, Titiyo was asked if she could be a member of any band, which would it be? She answered that she would want to be member of the rock group Metallica.

“Yes, if I was a dude,” Titiyo said and laughed.




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