Santogold (Santogold's) "LES Artistes" is the most incredible, powerful, King Kong pop-song to come out of America since 'Crazy In Love' and couldn't be more of an obvious hit if it was Elvis and 2Pac singing a Christmas version of 'Candle In The Wind'. - NME
This is better than good; this is gold- SANTOGOLD!
Released through Downtown Records (Eagles Of Death Metal, Spank Rock, Brett Dennen), Santogold's self titled album has already caused a massive reaction by punters, media and artists alike. Born Santi White, Santogold merges her versatile voice (which recalls M.I.A. one minute and Karen O the next) with anthemic new wave inspired rock and dancehall tinged bass explosions. The result is a kaleidoscope of organic and synthetic sounds held together by her attitude-filled flow and a style that is utterly unique.
Choice words indeed. Born in Philadelphia, Santi White was schooled at Wesleyan University where she studied Caribbean and West African drumming -sounds that are completely evident in her work today. The artist got her pseudonym in the 1980s from a friend's nickname for her, yet developed an early aversion to performing when she was traumatized during a high school choral recital. "I had a solo when I was fifteen and it was a disaster," she says. "I was so nervous and I didn't have faith in myself at all. The first night, this other guy was supposed to sing the solo and he didn't show up and they're like, 'You're on!' I wasn't ready and I just hid my face onstage and my hands were shaking."
Move forward a few years and Santogold evidently overcame her fears to become lead singer of Philadelphia new wave/ska band Stiffed, whose 2003 EP 'Sex Sells' was produced by Bad Brains member Daryl Jenifer. She also worked at Epic Records as an A&R representative, but left the position to write and produce 'How I Do', the debut album from R&B singer Res.
Whilst in Stiffed, Santogold was offered a solo contract by Martin Heath of Marrakesh Records (the label that discovered The Killers). As unmastered Santogold tracks like the simply incredible Switch & Freq Nasty produced "Creator" and current single "LES Artistes" leaked over the internet, the request lines of radio stations from the world over began freezing with a flood of calls from listeners eager to hear the new Santogold sound over their frequencies!
Recognizing the urgent need to address the uproarious buzz, Santogold released the following statement through her label reps: "The response to our unmastered songs has been both premature and phenomenal! We were happy to hear that the children of Darfur have found hope in our melodic interpretation of life on the battlefield of love! We're hoping that each and every 20-something from downtown San Francisco to central Mumbai will also learn something from our work! And to the people dropping no-knock fire on old ladies in Atlanta: shame on you! Santogold ain't with that shit!"
Santogold moved to New York in early 2005 after she lost her father and decided she needed to focus on her music and started to collaborate with the likes of Lily Allen, Marc Ronson, Spank Rock and Switch.
Santogold was hand-picked by Björk to open for the Icelandic pop star when she recently played at New York's Madison Square Garden. The show took place on Santi's birthday, and the crowd sang to her. "After each show they do a little dance party backstage because Björk likes to get her adrenaline out of her muscles," White explains. "Each night a different person DJs off their iPod, then we had these dance battles in a circle. It's like a pajama party dance party." While Santogold and producer/songwriter John Hill (AKA Johnny Rodeo) formed the nucleus of this creation, the Santogold landscape is speckled with the flavour of DJ's/Producers and underground fly kids who have rallied behind them to deliver some all around hot sh*t: Switch, Diplo (the two hottest underground producers in the world right now, both of whom worked on M.I.A.'s last album), the late great Disco D, Sinden, Freq Nasty, Radioclit, lead guitarist Clifford "Moonie" Pusey of Steel Pulse, former Bad Brains drummer Chuck Treece, Naeem Juwan (AKA MC Spank Rock), M.I.A, NYC dub master Dr. Israel and Snowboarding champ turned "Crunk Rock" musician Trouble Andrew.
With US Rolling Stone naming Santogold one of the "Top 10 Artists to watch in 2008", her album is clearly one of the most anticipated releases this year.
TIME OFF (QLD) "a triumph form start to finish that never loses sight of its ferocious commitment to innovation and its blatant greatness. One of the year's best"
THE VINE (WEB) "one of the more convincing, original and downright bangin' debuts so far this year"
SMH "big, grinning, hook filled songs"
ROLLING STONE - "Santogold ultimately sounds like her own damn movement and its one the world will find hard to resist"
RAVE - "Simple outstanding indie-pop"
DRUM PERTH - "By setting her glistening, 24-carat pop ring with electro, dub-step and grind stories, White can flash her bling like its real (Santo) Gold"
BEAT - "Believe the Santogold hype! This is better than good this is gold"
MUSIC NETWORK - "Santogold is one of the biggest artists to emerge in 2008"
INPRESS AOTW - "It's a compelling hybrid of styles that Santogold completely makes her own
This isn't fools gold because Santogold does what it takes to give us solid 24-carat".
DAILY TELEGRAPH AOTW "Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the future of pop music
Lyrically, she is ambitious, brave, angry, motivated and provocative"
WHO.com "Santogold personifies the eclecticism and the scope of the newer new wave trend
One of the most striking albums I've heard in a long while - can't recommend it enough"
For more info check out: www.myspace.com/santogoldwww.downtownmusic.com