There are few people in this world who can command attention to what they have to say. Some just have a gift, a way of explaining complicated things in life so simply. Few can make music so intense and spiritual that you just have to listen, to understand, to admire and cherish. One of these people is Toddy. She was born Toddy Elizabeth Walters, younger sister to Kelly Rae and Mara, on October 24, 1969 in Denver Colorado. Named after her great aunt, this amazing hidden talent knew early on what she was destined to do in life. Her music is "meant to be a humble gift from me to people who can really hear it. It's a gift of my appreciation for the human race and in celebration of the beauty that everyone possesses, whether they believe it or not." |
Toddy started singing in choirs when she was a child. When she was 9, she started taking guitar lessons and in high school she did some musical theatre. But it wasn't until she was 18 that she stopped the lessons and sat down to start to write her own music. She wrote "with the feeling of songs being about certain people. But sometimes, over time, they don't remind me of the certain person anymore. It's as if they become from the point of view of a new person. And some songs I have will always make me think of the person." She has the rare ability to incorporate contradiction to the words she writes. "There is a lot of allusion to ambivalence in my songs... the word ambivalence is a very complex word really. But basically every song has an essence of contradiction." For the most part, Toddy writes her music entirely on her own. "Sometimes, I'll co-write with other musicians for their projects but my stuff is my sacred material. (However) if a producer friend or someone whose music I like gives me a track to write lyrics and melody, then I like doing that, too. It gives me a chance to break out of my normal writing habits"
When Toddy was 17 she moved to Santa Fe for a short period of time to go to school. She then moved to LA for a year and a half before coming back home to Denver to be with her family during a tragic time. She then took off to England to be a nanny for a year, eventually landing back in Denver. It was at this time she met up with actor/director Trey Parker while attending school at the ‘University of Colorado' in Boulder. In 1993, Trey cast Toddy in a film he was making called ‘Cannibal ~ The Musical'. Toddy played the lead (and pretty much only) female character ‘Polly Pry'. In the film she was able to show off her amazing singing talents which caught the attention of many fans who were turned on to the movie in the late 90's when Trey and his partner Matt Stone started the wildly successful show ‘South Park'.
Before leaving Colorado for good, Toddy released her first album called ‘Grotto' in 1997. The album was record at ‘The Sleeping Brotherhood Studio' in Denver. Her band at the time included Phil Hegel on bass, co star from ‘Cannibal ~ The Musical' Ian Hardin on drums, and Jim Nasi, who would later be part of the ‘Toddy Band', on guitar.
In 1998 Toddy made the move to LA for good with hopes of being heard "in this crazy world of air popped pop songs." While she did continue to act in Trey Parker projects such as ‘Orgazmo' in 1997, ‘That's My Bush' in 2001 and voicing various ‘South Park' characters from 1997-2000 (including ‘South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut' in 1999), Toddy's number one passion was still music. She continued to write, and in 1999 released her second album ‘Hysteria is in This Girl'. This electronica style album was produced by RCA recording artists ‘Breathe & Smack3000. In 2000 Toddy teamed up with producer Pete Sears of Jefferson Starship to record her third album, a six song demo, called ‘Leaning at the Altar of the Pavement'. This album featured the ‘Toddy Band' which included Jeff Mince, David Weiner and reunited Toddy with former band mate Jim Nasi. This album housed the songs ‘Wedding Day', ‘Ur So Cold' and ‘La La Love' which was featured a few times on the MTV show ‘MTV Undressed'. Later that year, Toddy went on tour with electronica artist Brian Transeau (BT).
From 2001 to 2003, Toddy teamed up with three different artists and recorded music with them. In 2001 Toddy sang back up vocals on ‘Better Than Ezra's album ‘Closer' on a track titled ‘Rollin'. In 2003, Toddy collaborated with ‘Redcola' producers ‘Paul & Price' (http://www.paulandprice.com) and recorded two songs on the ‘Salt' album: ‘Sunday Afternoon' and ‘Rooted'. Another song produced by Paul & Price was the beautifully haunting song ‘Darling'. Also that year, Toddy made a dance mixed version of the Jim Stout song ‘Dirty Girl'.
Toddy’s latest project, an album entitled ‘Planet Satsuma' produced by her Bernie Penzias (www.myspace.com/bernebase ) Toddy says it is an album which is "meant to be played loud!" She has currently finished this album and is polishing it to perfection in preparation to have it released into the world. Songs on that album will include ‘Jimmy', named for her friend Jim Nasi, ‘Satsumas' and ‘Oblivion'.
Many things can be said of a woman like Toddy. Many things have been said. She is a true talent, meant to be heard only by people who need to hear her. She is true to her style and doesn't let anyone tell her how her music "should" be played. "When you write a song, you have heartfelt emotion behind it, therefore, the song has meaning." Need I say more?