||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (March 2013)|
Santigold performing in Boston, Massachusetts, June 2012.
|Birth name||Santi White|
|Also known as||Santogold|
September 25, 1976 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Genres||Electronic, new wave, dub, reggae fusion, alternative hip hop, alternative dance|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, drums, keyboards|
|Labels||Lizard King, Atlantic, Downtown, Roc Nation|
|Associated acts||Stiffed, NASA, The Lonely Island, Amanda Blank, Spank Rock, Major Lazer, David Byrne, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Diplo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ASAP Rocky, Karen O|
Santi White (born September 25, 1976), better known by her stage name Santigold (formerly Santogold), is an American singer, songwriter, and producer. Her debut album Santogold was released to positive reviews in 2008. Her second album Master of My Make-Believe was released in April 2012.
Early life 
White attended Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US and later attended college at Wesleyan University, where she double-majored in Music and African-American studies. The artist attained her pseudonym in the 1990s after a friend thought of the title as a nickname for her. She worked for Epic Records as an A&R representative but left the position to co-write and executive produce How I Do, the debut album from the singer Res.
White was the singer of the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Stiffed, that released the 2003 album Sex Sells and 2005 album Burned Again—both albums were produced by Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer. While in Stiffed, White was offered a solo contract by Martin Heath of Lizard King Records.
Santogold: 2007–10 
White's initial singles "Creator" and "L.E.S. Artistes" received attention from Internet media outlets in 2007 and White's debut album Santogold was issued in April 2008—the album was conceived with fellow Stiffed member John Hill. The record featured appearances and production work from Chuck Treece, Diplo, Switch, and Jonnie "Most" Davis, among others.
Santogold was critically acclaimed by both Entertainment Weekly and Spin, while "L.E.S. Artistes" was placed in the #2 position on Rolling Stone's "Singles of the Year" list and Santogold was sixth on the magazine's "Albums of the Year" list. "Creator", along with "Lights Out", appeared in commercials in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK).
To promote her debut album, Santigold toured with M.I.A. and Björk. In June 2008, Coldplay invited her to be their opening act in the U.S. Santi's own US tour was called Goldrush Tour. After the tour's completion, she supported Jay-Z and Kanye West on a number of their shows and then The Streets at BBC's Electric Proms. She finished the tour opening for Beastie Boys for a few concerts.
In February 2009, White announced that she changed her initial stage name to Santigold for reasons related to a possible lawsuit from director Santo Victor Rigatuso, who produced the movie Santo Gold's Blood Circus.
The second leg of the tour finished in August 2009 at the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago. Billboard noted that she "delivered a bright set and drew a headliner-sized audience" for a late afternoon concert. Before leaving the stage, she announced she was preparing to compose for another album.
Master of My Make-Believe: 2011–present 
In 2011, White published the song "Go!" which featured Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The track was produced by Switch, Q-Tip and Santigold herself. NME praised it as a "brittle and brilliant brawler of a track" with "great reverberating militaristic kettle-drum booms".
Santigold announced that the follow-up of Santogold would be out in spring 2012 : it was recorded in part in Jamaica. Talking to Billboard, she described her forthcoming album as "sonically eclectic but with some epic curveballs thrown into the mix". It was co-produced in part with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. The singer said about her new record Master of My Make-Believe : "I want it to be about creating your own reality. I have a song called “The Keepers”: “we’re the keepers, while we sleep in America our house is burning down". "Big Mouth", the first track and video from the album was issued in late January as a free download. In February, an animated video for "Disparate Youth" was uploaded to Santi's official YouTube channel, as the first single of the album. "Disparate Youth" was also issued via iTunes in the U.S and a UK version with several remixes was also edited.
Master of My Make-Believe was released in late April: it was critically acclaimed. "Disparate Youth" was featured in a December 2012 advertisement for the 2013 Honda Civic model  and a piano version of the song was used in a 2012/3 advert for Direct Line insurance.
Santi then went on tour and performed a few shows as opener on the U.S. leg of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm with You Tour. During May and June, she headlined her own shows in the US before a summer European tour. On August 15, 2012, she performed on the deck of the USS Intrepid as part of "Stephest Colbchella '012: Rocktaugustfest" on The Colbert Report.
Besides her own work, White has also collaborated with a number of other artists. She co-wrote the title track for GZA's 1999 album Beneath the Surface, which featured Res. White also went on to co-compose and produce a majority of Res' album How I Do in 2001. White later appeared on the song "Stay in Line" on GZA's 2002 album, Legend of the Liquid Sword.
In 2007, White also appeared on Mark Ronson's Version, performing on a cover of The Jam's "Pretty Green", in her first performance credited as Santogold. White co-wrote Lily Allen's "Littlest Things" with Ronson, and co-composed for Ashlee Simpson with Kenna, including the lead single "Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)".
In 2008, she recorded a song with N.E.R.D's Pharrell Williams and The Strokes' Julian Casablancas for Converse. Santigold explained that the musicians recorded the song separately and did "their own separate thing", "so it ends up being just this weird long song with sort of everybody with lots of their own personalities separate." The song, "My Drive Thru", was available for free on Converse's website.
That same year, a track called "Brooklyn Go Hard", produced by Kanye West contained a sample of Santigold's track "Shove It". It appeared on the soundtrack to The Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious. The song was also released as a download via subscription to (RED)Wire, with a portion of the profits going towards Bono's Product Red organization. "Brooklyn Go Hard" debuted on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 62.
In 2009, she also sang on the track "Whachadoin?" with M.I.A., Nick Zinner, and Spank Rock for DJ collective N.A.S.A.'s debut album, The Spirit of Apollo, as well as a song entitled "Gifted" with Kanye West and Lykke Li. She then collaborated with Basement Jaxx's on their Scars album, adding her vocals to the song "Saga". Unstoppable with Drake & Lil Wayne.
In 2011, she appeared on the Beastie Boys' album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, and was featured on the track "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win". She also took part on The Lonely Island's 2011 album Turtleneck & Chain, lending her vocals to the track "After Party". White collaborated with Spank Rock on "Car Song", for his album Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar.
In 2013, She will appear at ASAP Rocky's debut album, Long. Live. ASAP Featured on the track "Hell".
Style and influences 
White's style has been compared often to that of M.I.A. In response to the M.I.A. comparison, White stated that they are both "women who have similar influences and have worked with some of the same people," but that her "music is different and she wasn't influenced by what the press was saying", adding "I can't think of anybody who would be a better fit of somebody who I'm like... I think what's accurate about that comparison is that she's an artist who has loads of different influences... and is putting things together in a way that's unexpected and genreless." Santigold and her friend Amanda Blank have been described as being part of "a new crop of young, multicultural, female acts in the wake of M.I.A. causing a stir on the internet and in indie-label conference rooms."
White has also revealed her appreciation of new wave music, and added that "My Superman" is an interpolation of a Siouxsie and the Banshees' song, "Red Light". Santigold has stated that she is inspired by 1980s pop music. "I felt that a lot of pop music from the '80s had a depth to it, and I hope to bring back some more good pop songs." The singer cites Devo as her "ultimate favorite band". White also grew up listening to a lot of reggae, jazz, Fela Kuti and Nigerian music; her main influences are James Brown and Aretha Franklin.
Australian singer-songwriter Kevin Mitchell, under the moniker of Bob Evans, stated that Santigold's work was an influence for the creation of his fourth album Familiar Stranger. As part of his performance for the breakfast program of national Australian radio station Triple J in March 2013, Mitchell performed a rendition of Santigold's song "Disparate Youth"—the performance occurred during the conclusion of "O Week" activities (orientation week for Australian universities) at the ABC studios in Melbourne, Australia.
Studio albums 
- "Creator" (2008)
- "L.E.S. Artistes" (2008)
- "My Drive Thru" (2008)
- "Lights Out" (2008)
- "Say Aha" (2008)
- "Go!" (featuring Karen O) (2011)
- "Big Mouth" (2012)
- "Disparate Youth" (2012)
- "The Keepers" (2012)
Awards and nominations 
|2008||NME Awards USA||Best Breakthrough Artist||Won|
|Q Awards||Best Breakthrough Artist||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Video Star ("L.E.S. Artistes")||Nominated|
|2009||BRIT Awards||International Female Solo Artist||Nominated|
|ASCAP Pop Music Awards||Vanguard Award||Won|
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- "Icon: Siouxsie", The Fader Magazine, The Icon Issue 67, April/May 2010. Page 73. Santigold: "I keep a Rolodex of the women that vocally inspire me. There aren't that many, but she's definitely one of them. I remember one of the first times I heard "Red Light" it was at a party, and I remember going up to the DJ and being like, "Who's this?". It was that good. I kind of stopped and was like... wow. There's not a tremendous amount of women who are bold and forward thinking as artists. I feel like her music, at the time especially, was pretty unique in the way that it sort of matched her style. The freedom of experimenting with this dark place that doesn't have a place often in modern music."
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Further reading 
- Reed, James (September 23, 2008). "Sass master Santogold takes it to the limit". The Boston Globe.
- Ahead of the Curve, Yet Again April 27, 2012
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