Taia Maati Khum Holly
Born: February 20, 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Taia Maati Khum is an actress, singer and member of the vocal group Holly Girlz. The daughter of Obi and Carla Holly, she was born on February 20, 1995 in Atlanta, Ga. Shortly after her birth, her parents relocated the family back home to Washington, DC. to allow she and her elder sister Amsara Sekhita Mai to be raised in a more culturally enriching environment and be nearer to relatives.
Also known as “Chocolate City”, she was raised in Washington, D.C. amongst a rich backdrop of wholistic, traditional African religion, Pan-African community and a wealth of artists and educators city-wide. It’s only natural that she would receive traditional African rite-of-passage training as well, to strengthen her foundation and brighten her glow.
Her mother introduced Taia to a vast musical foundation including classical, folk, blues, jazz, rock and r&b; while her father made sure she had a healthy dose of hip-hop, Broadway show-tunes and D.C’s homegrown go-go music. Passionate about her craft as a child, Taia regularly received notes from her teacher in the first grade for disrupting the class by unexpectedly bursting into song; usually an opera aria, sung full-voiced. Since she was usually a very well behaved child, it was a challenge for her parents to chastise her for what was regularly encouraged at home – artistic expression. It didn’t take much coaxing for her to spread her wings in her first grade elementary school Black History performance, a jazz number where she sang, recited a poem and danced a duet of the cakewalk.
Having multiple talents, at age 10 her artwork was presented in an exhibit at the prestigious Corcoran Gallery of Art, she received a poetry award at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, and performed in a leading role from the musical “Hairspray” for the Ambassador at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. During this time, she formed a group with her sister and three friends called ‘Five Star”, arranging performances of original songs for family and friends which caught the attention of one of the members of accapella impresarios, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Like others, she would take note of the tonal originality in Taia’s voice.
With training from her parents, at age 11 she was cast in a leading role in “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” at the renowned Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The following year, she played a leading role in a musical “The Magic in Me”, co-hosted RHN’s “Young World” and appeared in HBO's "The Wire".
In 2009, at the age of 15, Taia and her sister Amsara expressed their interest in wanting to form a singing group and the Holly Girlz, was born. This came as no surprise for her artist/producer parents, for they’d watched Taia and her sister blossom artistically throughout elementary, middle and into their high school years performing in school plays, concert choirs and community theaters.With the support of her parents, receiving studio time allowed them to record and release their first single "Like Yeah" (2011).
Later in 2011, her parents made the decision to relocate the family to Los Angeles to allow their daughters the element to pursue their goals. Younger sisters Ariana Shring and Maasatimbala Sanefer Miling would complete the puzzle by joining the Holly Girlz group in 2012.
Briefly enrolled in the Hollywood School of the Arts, Taia Maati Khum participated in numerous performances to include: singing the “Carmina Burana” opera at Magic Mountain Concert Hall, a Classical Music Showcase, a leading role in the stage play “Mean Girls”. Se also got the chance to flex her hip-hop roots, rapping in a hip-hop group and cipher Retro Jet Life in the L.A.C.E.R. music program.
In 2013, the Holly Girlz created a YouTube channel, performing covers of classics like Stevie Wonder's "All I Do" and contemporary hits like "Beautiful" By Mariah Carey ft. Miguel. The quartet also launched their website, further expanding the Holly Girlz brand, which features the groups videos and includes the Holly Girlz fashion blog "SoHG". In the same year Holly Girlz released it’s second single, "Wind It Up Like (Chuck Brown)" (2013). They received accolades in the underground DMV (Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia) music scene for a song that not only praised the unique DC go-go music style, but also paid tribute to the “Godfather of Go-Go” music, acclaimed jazz and funk musician Chuck Brown. Also, she joined her sisters - cast in leading roles - in filming "Destiny Depot"(2013), an independent sci- fi film. She also featured on local artists music projects and in a dramatic film short, “Jay” (2015).
Her interests include snowboarding and skateboarding. She is currently working on the first Holly Girlz album with her sisters, while pursuing TV and film projects.
Obi Holly and Amenika Shepsu-t for Colossal, Inc.