Adrianne Bate, aka TiTi and DJ Nostaljiq, is the quintessential 21st century Black woman. As a media personality—which also happens to be her real-life personality—she is a satisfying mixture of that witty homegirl from Down South who makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, that future thinker in your organization who stays up on technology trends and political currents, and the gentle priestess with soothing words and her medicine bag on the ready. She is Afrofuturism personified.
Born in Tallahassee and raised in Tampa, Florida (‘Flawda’), Adrianne had the benefit of two parents who, as she puts it, ‘allowed [her] to be free.’ Her early days were spent embedded in a community of love, support and gift-giving. One of these gifts was music. Beyond the formative Black church choir experience, she also spent hours diving through her parents’ and grandparents’ album collections, acquiring a more diverse listening ear.
These unscripted childhood journeys into music appreciation led to more serious commitment and study in high school, when Adrianne became a formally-trained instrumentalist (French horn, trumpet, euphonium, drum major), a beat-maker (classic samples, hip-hop, low-end theory, boom-bap, lo-fi) and an MC. A few years later, she also discovered an interest in learning the art of DJing, and had a knack for throwing legendary house parties. She adopted the name ‘Nostaljiq’ because whether she’s making beats, rhymes, or bodies move, her main objective is to deliver people back to the joyful, sentimental moments of the past.
Much of her work still involves the blending of the past with an ongoing celebration of the present. Her desire to deepen this connection with the past extended beyond the musical, into the cultural and spiritual. This eventually led her to Nigeria, where she received the name Ifawemimo Ogunyemi from the elders who trained her in Yoruba spiritual culture. Ifawemimo is a healer par excellence, who wields every tool she has been given for the benefit of her community. Somehow, she manages to bring ancient ancestral knowledge, ‘kitchen-table wisdom,’ compassion and academic training (FAMU) together seamlessly in her work.
She wears many hats—physical therapist (14 years in a trauma hospital), massage therapist, producer, NFT artist, DJ, professor, commercial drone pilot, doula and food grower—but in all cases, she exudes a relaxed confidence that puts everyone at ease. The children in her community affectionately named her TiTi, because she has become the beloved Auntie to many.
TiTi just feels like family. People gravitate to her because she’s a good-natured human being, but also because of her balanced, refreshing and decisively pan-African perspective on things. She has been sharing some of this perspective with her audiences through a not-to-be-missed podcast titled TiTi Talks. As an interviewer, she never backs down from tough questions, and is usually about to ask the one you just thought of.
A self-titled “professional conversationalist,” TiTi is both a keen listener and the consummate storyteller. She is what one would imagine Ananse the spider to be like, if he were a Xennial Black woman. Laced with sunny humor and irony, Adrianne’s stories are relatable and informative. Like Ananse, she has traveled to many countries across the world, collecting and sharing stories, weaving people and ideas together like a web. She is localized and intimate, global and expansive, political and sharp-edged, nurturing and connective. She is the spoonful of sugar and the bitter herbs. All at the same…damn…time.