Toby Lightman, a native of Philadelphia, is a modern soul singer and song writer who was classically trained on the violin and self taught on the guitar. To date, she has five recordings with her debut album “Little Things” reaching the Billboard Top 100 in it’s first week.
In 2008, Lightman launched her independent record career with a self released album, “Let Go.” The Home Shopping Networks picked up the track and used it for the network’s marketing campaign with promos on dozens of channels.
Lightman is not a stranger to television and film, some of her songs used in television and films include “Everyday” on Fox’s Bones, “Holding a Heart” as well as One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, 90210 and the feature film, What’s Your Number?
She’s performed on various National TV shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NBC’S The Today Show, and CBS’ Second Cup and has toured with renowned artists Jewel, James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw, Train and on one memorable evening, Prince.
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.” This past winter, Toby and her song “We Are” were featured in the demo for the new Microsoft BING software. Most recently, Toby was asked to write a song for the new American Girl film that will be released in 2015.
Examiner spoke with Lightman to find out more on her career that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Examiner: You have made five recordings to date. What have you learned with each recording?
Lightman: “I have learned something different from each record that I’ve made. Each one has channeled different feelings in me that came along with whatever was going on in my life up until that point. I would say it’s like going through the different stages of school. The first record is like elementary school. I don’t really know much yet and am still fumbling through what creating music is. Now I’m in grad school.
Over the years, I’ve been really lucky to have my music placed in a bunch of different television shows and films. My very first placement was from my first record LITTLE THINGS, the song is called “Frightened” and it was in a little known movie called Uptown Girls. It was cool, but I don’t think more than 100 people saw that. Then I had “My Sweet Song” placed in the film PS I LOVE YOU with Hilary Swank and that changed the game. I had no idea that I was then going to have a string of placements over the years. My last release HOLDING A HEART has had 7 placements. I hope this new record EVERY KIND OF PEOPLE gets the same exposure on what I like to call the new radio.”
Examiner: What advice would you give to a promising young singer song writer?
Lightman: “I would tell them to stay focused on their craft and don’t rush that process. Then to get out in the world and play what they’ve written. I see so many people so eager to just be famous and not care so much about what they do. I’m in the mindset of, be proud of your talent and don’t leave it behind.”
Examiner: If you couldn’t write and record music, what would you be doing?
Lightman: “I really don’t have any idea what I would do if I didn’t write music. I have grown to love cooking and would love to start a food blog, but I wouldn’t want to work in a restaurant, my bartending days are over! I also enjoy helping plan parties for my friends, although I’m not sure I’d be good at it if I didn’t know the person. I’d probably not be very patient with bridezillas.”
Examiner: Who is your fan base?
Lightman: “My fans are the greatest fans in the world. They have been coming to my shows for years and I love seeing familiar faces as well as new ones. The last show I played in Boston, we had so many sing-alongs, I think I got choked up! For Bostonites to get out of their cozy homes and sled over to my show, in this weather, I am humbled beyond belief. I am also in love with the live aspect of performing.”
Lightman will be performing at Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street in Cambridge on Feb. 27.
For more info: http://www.tobylightman.com/