Philly-born singer-composer Santigold started her music career working with ska-punk band Stiffed after moving to Brooklyn in 2005. A talented songwriter and producer, she wrote songs for Marc Ronson and Lilly Allen. She got an offer from the label Lizard King after showing off her voice at a Stiffed show and took band member John Hill with her on this new project. They worked with Major Lazer producer Switch, composer-singer M.I.A. and Steel Pulse guitarist Clifford Mooney Pussey to put out a first album under the name “Santogold” in 2008. A completely unique mix of electronics, dub, pop and rock, the best song was “L.E.S. Artistes”. The lyrics are personal and work with the dynamics of the song.
Unfortunately, even though her real name is Santi White, she was sued by jeweler Santo Gold for the handle, and her stage name and band are now “Santigold”. After the debut, she was in high demand as a singer, working on tracks with a huge number of big artists like: Jay-Z, The Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Basement Jaxx and Fatboy Slim. The Jay-Z song “Brooklyn We Go Hard” is especially tasty.
Santigold is a fantastic live artist – maybe because as a producer she understands that presentation is about the visual as well as the music. Live dancers, dramatic lights and powerful stage composition are all part of the package. This year the newly re-named Santigold is dropping her second album “American Dreaming”. Recorded in Los Angeles, New York and Jamaica with collaborators Dave Sitek (from TV on the Radio) and Switch (from Major Lazer), it’s not out until the fall. But the first single featuring Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) has dropped and it’s hot.
Michele Myers spins every Saturday on KEXP from 3-6pm. Every week she brings you a featured Saturday Afternoon Artist and plays several songs in-a-row from them. She also is the producer/creator of KEXP Documentaries.