Every time you turn around there’s some new underground darling that suddenly becomes the talk of the (virtual) town.
Most of the time, these characters are just flashes in the pan who vanish as fast as they came up, but Santi “Santogold” White will not be one of them. Her fast rise has nothing to do with hype and everything to do with the fact that the first time you hear a track from Santogold, it will become your new favorite song. Be it the dark and menacing ‘You’ll Find a Way’, the bubbly Caribbean flavored ‘Unstoppable’ or her show stealing collaborations with Spank Rock and DJ Blaqstarr, her catalogue makes it hard not to fall in love overnight.
Believe in Santogold because she’s more than a funky outfit and hip haircut
Still, despite the sudden rise for White, she’s not exactly as new to the game as you might assume. After stints in the A&R department of Epic records and as part of New Wave/Punk-Rock outfit Stiffed, White was recruited to write songs for Res’s critically acclaimed ‘How Do I’. “I wasn’t just a songwriter, I was executive producer and pretty much the creative director of the whole thing.” While White put her all into the project and went on to collaborate with such disparate acts as Gza and Lily Allen, it was “a lot to give to something that’s not really yours”, so it wasn’t a surprise that the performing bug eventually bit and she went solo. It wasn’t long before she got the attention of two of the queens of the modern scene, Bjork and M.I.A., both of whom brought her along to support their shows and helped her pick up new fans by the thousands.
Internet leaks have only added to the anticipation of her official debut, currently being recorded with the hottest producer/DJs on the scene today (including Diplo, Naseem Juwan of Spank Rock and Switch, who calls her “probably the most innovative artist coming out of New York at the moment.”). It may seem odd for an artist to go from working with Bad Brains “doing my New Wave, punk-rock and dub thing” to recording with the cream of the electronic crop, but that’s only because so few can mix such a wide range of influences and come out with something that’s not only enjoyable but original as well. She’s like everything and nothing you’ve heard before, somehow taking sounds that normally frighten the mainstream market and combining them into the most pitch-perfect pop that you’re likely to hear in 2008.
It’s hard not to fall in love overnight
Believe in Santogold because she is in fact real and not just a cool MySpace page full of songs that’ll never end up on a real album. Believe in Santogold because she’s more than a funky outfit and hip haircut made to distract you from boring music. Most of all, believe in Santogold because she’s just plain good. This is your last change to get on board without looking like you’re jumping on the bandwagon, so if nothing else, believe in Santogold because your “cool kid” cred depends on it.