Brightonian singer-songwriter Tiawa Blackhorse aka Tiawa fuses deep, neo-soulful vocals with the jagged edge of hip-hop and reggae.

Incorporating an MC-rap styled flow to create a timeless yet ethereal sound, Tiawa possesses a lyrical maturity that belies her youth. Joined by Jack-Chi, the alias of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jack Kingslake – a Bristol-veteran who cut his teeth as a producer in the city during the 2000s – Jack gained a reputation as the go-to producer and engineer for a massive range of artists. Together the pair have charmed local producers, DJs and promoters, bringing their sound to live shows, sound systems and free parties across the country.

Growing up on a household diet of reggae and soul (a sound that became the soundtrack to Tiawa’s early childhood), it was only a matter of time before a passion for music was instilled into her being: “I used to be taken to reggae dances as a child with my family, this inspired me to sing along to dubs and watch the elders rhyme using conscious lyrics and a peaceful stage presence”. At age seven, she started singing along to her favourite Motown, rocksteady and reggae classics, and by age thirteen had progressed onto playing the guitar and composing original songs.

Born to a father mixed with indigenous heritage, Tiawa was taught from a young age how to chant and sing traditional music: “The messages in ancient music inspire me to incorporate those sounds and meanings into English songs with a modern and personalised approach”. 

Influenced by positive messages and the history of someone’s life, Tiawa’s penchant for storytelling is rooted in her musical influences of reggae, Motown, blues, doo-wop and hip-hop: “It resonates with a message that can help to make people feel good or educated, it’s a way to tell a story that others can relate too”.

Continuing to develop and refine her vocal style and songwriting flair, Tiawa’s output is heartfelt and universal; a call to collective consciousness beacons through her music as Tiawa reminds is of the power of love as a force to conquer and overcome oppression.

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