I love artists that fearlessly deviate from the safety net of the mainstream to create music that goes beyond what we think we’ve already heard. Santi White, former lead singer of Stiffed, does just that. While skimming through Afropunk forums out of sheer boredom and curiosity, I was excited to stumble upon Stiffed, a Philadelphia-based punk rock band. Even though Stiffed has broken up, it is impressive that the band’s album, Sex Cells, was produced by Daryl Jenifer of the legendary punk band Bad Brains. It was love at first listen and “A Day With Andrew” a simple, upbeat song, has been on heavy rotation since then. But that’s ancient history. Santogold is now.
About a year ago, I was reunited with Santogold while browsing through designer Santino’s (who was totally robbed by the way) myspace page. After being bombarded with bizarre, high-pitched screeching over a thumping beat by DJs Switch and FreQ Nasty, my initial thought was, “what the hell is this?” “Creator” quickly grew on me. It was amazingly eclectic and a breath of fresh air from the monotonous bulk of music currently assaulting our airwaves and eardrums. Although many try to decipher her sound as a mix of M.I.A. meets Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) blending in with punk rock and 80’s new wave, I simply describe Santogold as…dope. Make of it what you will.
And let's face it, the girl is fly. Working with artists, friends, and “underground fly kids” like M.I.A., DJ Diplo, Switch, and Naeem Juwan of Spank Rock amongst many others, it’s evident that Miss White is keeping good company.
Santogold, who was recently chosen as Rolling Stone magazine’s Artists to Watch, is proving to be a force that is only growing bigger and increasingly intense. The lyrics ring true: “Me, I’m a Creator/Thrill is to make it up/The rules I break got me a place/Up on the radar.” Be blessed with Santogold’s gift to the mundane or get left in the dust.
Do you believe in Santogold?
-Santogold’s self-titled album will be released April 29th.
-For more info check out: Santogold myspace