In a world of auto-tune, Toby Lightman’s pure and soulful voice cuts through the noise. People Magazine has stated that “No small talent… Toby Lightman continues to shine a light on her knack for making rich, soulful pop”. From her major label debut in 2004 to her current independent spirit, Toby has mastered her own sophisticated urban pop. With each song, recording or collaboration, Toby continues to hone, craft and perfect her unique sound.
She studied classical violin as a child, but it wasn’t until college that Toby considered a career in music. While studying Television and Radio at the University of Wisconsin, Toby took up the guitar, started playing in various bands and never looked back. She moved to New York where her expressive voice quickly gained her supporters, from legendary music artist Wyclef Jean to accomplished producer Peter Zizzo, to music executive Jason Flom. In 2003, “Devils and Angels” the first single from her debut album Little Things (Lava/Atlantic) immediately made noise at radio and a career was born.
Toby went on to record Bird On A Wire, a second album for Atlantic Records, before breaking away from the politics and constraints of corporate record companies and launching her independent record career with her self-released album Let Go in 2008. The title track was picked up by Home Shopping Network for use in the network’s marketing campaign, with promos featuring the song airing on dozens of television channels for six months, letting Lightman know it would all be okay. ” Being an independent artist in today’s music business can be a scary and daunting thing” says Toby, “but getting constant positive feedback that people are into what you’re doing inspires you and keeps you going. I’ve been lucky to get that feedback.”
Over the course of her career, which includes four albums, an EP and numerous individual tracks, Lightman has performed on a large number of national TV shows including the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’ Second Cup and many more. She has also toured extensively, both solo and sharing the bill with renowned artists such as Rob Thomas, Jewel, James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw, Train, Marc Cohn, and one “I could quit tomorrow” evening opening for the legendary Prince, an artist that Toby grew up idolizing. Prince happened to be watching the night Toby appeared on Conan and was so taken with her performance he invited her to open for him.
As an independent artist, Toby Lightman has enjoyed tremendous success with the placement of her music in film and TV. So much so that her longtime co-writer and friend Simon Perry (Echo and the Bunnymen), has dubbed Toby the “queen of TV and film.” Some of her songs used in television and films include “Everyday” on Fox’s Bones, “Holding a Heart” in numerous shows such as WB’s One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, 90210 as well as the feature film What’s Your Number? Her winter evoking “Snow Day” was the soundtrack to a KMart commercial. “Addicted” was used in the promos for ABC’s Desperate Housewives series finale as well as the trailer for the movie Playing For Keeps. Amazingly, eight of Toby’s songs were highlighted in a single episode of the ABC Family series The Fosters. Most recently, Toby and her song “We Are” are featured in the demo for the new Microsoft BING software!
She will be releasing a new album in 2014.