Santogold
Written by Nicholas Jennings    Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:22    PDF Print E-mail

Tags: 2008 | Features | Santogold

SantogoldOne of Brooklyn’s hottest exports is Santi White, the dynamic punk-electro-dub artist who performs as Santogold. Although she was born in Philadelphia, Brooklyn has been her base since launching her solo music career. According to White, the borough is the Big Apple’s funkiest asset. “It’s go the energy that is uniquely New York,” she says, “but it feels a little less jaded than Manhattan. Like there’s still a raw energy of something untapped and exciting.”

The same could be said of White’s music. Her debut album, Santogold, offers some of the most dynamic sounds around, from the pulsing beats and razor-sharp guitars of “L.E.S. Artistes” to the shrill vocals and swooping synthetic bass of “Creator.” The album mixes influences like new wavers Blondie, reggae-punkers Bad Brains and electro-rapper M.I.A., with whom White is friends. Her goal was to break down boundaries and genre classifications as a black woman by not singing either r&b or hip hop. “I really wanted to make a record that incorporated all the various styles of music that have influenced me throughout my life,” she says, “and not make a flat, boring, one-dimensional record.”

Her eclectic songs have quickly catapulted her into pop’s front ranks. Björk invited White on tour, producer Mark Ronson asked her to write for Lily Allen and Coldplay took her on the road. Her press reviews, has been breathless. Spin magazine has called her the “next big thing,” while Rolling Stone has proclaimed her nothing short of “the future of music today.”

Given that she worked as a talent scout for Epic Records, after fronting Philadelphia punk band Stiffed, it’d be easy to think that White learned some tricks about making it in the music industry—a notion she’s quick to dispel. “Actually, what I learned was that I had no business being there at all,” she says. “I learned that I cared way more about creating art than I did about the politics of record companies and that, unfortunately, creativity was becoming less and less a part of the record label agenda.”

Since leaving Epic and writing and producing an album by the singer Res, White has been focused 100 per cent on her solo career. “It requires so much to be an artist,” she says, “like honesty, vulnerability, courage, patience, confidence, determination, curiosity and enough defiance not to give a fuck every time people tell you you’re not good enough. I guess I’m not making music for anyone but myself at this point.” But, she adds, “I’m really happy that people like it.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn remains a source of happiness—and inspiration for her. “There’s so much here,” enthuses White, the current cover girl for Missbehave, a Brooklyn-based women’s magazine. “All different people, from neighbors who have lived here for generations and boys who never leave the corner to artists and screaming teenagers. There’s great food, fashion, art, grime and sophistication, old and new. There’s a place for every part of me here. What can the world learn from Brooklyn?” she asks. “To be bold and unafraid.”



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! Mixx! Free and Open Source Software News Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! TwitThis Joomla Free PHP
 

Reviews

News image

Carla Bruni - Little French Songs

2013 | Administrator | Sunday, 21 April 2013

The supermodel-turned-songstress pays tribute to her husband, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, on the affectionate “My Raymond,” while the breezy “At Keith and Anita’s Place” references a day in the...

News image

Coldplay - Ghost Stories

2014 | Nicholas Jennings | Monday, 19 May 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow went public first about her marriage breakup to Chris Martin—now it’s the Coldplay frontman’s turn. On “True Love,” Martin sings “I’ve lost you now, you let me go,”...

News image

Jorge Miguel - Guitarra Flamenca/Flamenco Guitar

2013 | Administrator | Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The simple title suggests a dry introduction to the Spanish style known for its virtuosity. But there’s nothing perfunctory about Miguel’s second album. From its tastefully designed DigiPack cover to...

News image

Lily Allen - Sheezus

2014 | Administrator | Monday, 19 May 2014

Allen has a notoriously cheeky side. On her early hits like “LDN” and “Smile,” she delivered witticisms in Cockney over reggae rhythms. Her insouciance caused controversies, but she always remained...

Features

News image

The Midway State - From Riches to Rags and Back Again

2011 | Administrator | Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Nathan Ferraro doesn’t seem the least bit bitter—which is surprising, given everything he’s been through. In fact, the affable, afro-haired frontman exudes all the serenity...

News image

The Messengers

2013 | Administrator | Wednesday, 13 March 2013

For Adam Messinger and Nasri Atweh, success has come from having the right songs at the right time.             Within a month of relocating to...

News image

Passing the Torch

2012 | Nicholas Jennings | Sunday, 9 September 2012

When Dustin Bentall was 12, he spent the summer with his parents at a cabin they bought in Cariboo Country, in British Columbia’s interior. There...

News image

Kathleen Edwards is an Emotional Voyageur

2012 | Administrator | Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A lot can change in four years—especially in the music world. In 2008, when Kathleen Edwards released her album Asking for Flowers, the Ottawa native...