Santigold

I just watched Santigold’s video for ‘Disparate Youth’ and am quite intrigued. I first took note that this female singer is wearing clothes! But how minimizing it would be to focus on that; for I was impressed by many other qualities of her work as well. Santi White’s song is not about booty-shaking, impressing men, romance, victimization, or submitting to someone else. Rather the opposite! Her music rocks, and the video shows a woman on an adventure, power in her own hands.

It makes me want to go sailing and visit a remote island.

Disparate Youth

I get such a mysterious Peter Pan/Lost Boys mythos crossed with N’awlins Voodoo vibe from the visuals.

‘Santigold’s goal of her previous album [Santogold] was to “help break down boundaries and genre classifications” and show that she wasn’t just “a black woman singing R&B.” ‘ She further states that “the cool thing is that I was able to work with all these genres that are typically sub-cultural, like dub or punk or something, and then, by writing in a way that had hooks, made it accessible to everyone.” She’s musically intelligent, having majored in music at Wesleyan University. (Wikipedia, ‘Santigold’).

Santi White is credited with writing all of the tracks on 2008’s Santogold. Other people are listed as having collaborated on writing, but every single track lists her as writer, and lists her first.

Her track ‘Go!’ has a powerful vibe, too! Funny, though, I looked up the lyrics on unofficial websites (the voices of the masses) and many seem to have the words wrong. I can hear what she’s saying and it does not sound like:

[excerpt]

“People want my power,
And they want more station,
Stormed my winter palace,
But they couldn’t take it!
All the way to Paris,
Run my reputation,
Try to pull my status,
But they couldn’t fake it!

How hard we found
Another instrument to crash you,
Crash you, crash you!
I need another instrument to crash you
Crash you, crash you!
I need, crash you!
Ha, ha, ha, crash you!”

and it does sound like:

“People want my power,
And they want my station,
Stormed my winter palace,
But they couldn’t take it!
All the way to Paris,
Run my reputation,
Try to pull my status,
But they couldn’t fake it!

How hard we found-
I’m another instrument to crash you,
Crash you, crash you! (adi-o)
cr- cr- cr-
I’m another instrument to crash you
Crash you, crash you!
(aii) crash you!
Ha, ha, ha, crash you!”

You can’t take the power out of her lyrics. Like Santi says, “they couldn’t fake it!” The assumption that her lyric is “I need” is indicative of the ‘damsel-in-distress’ ideology which still pervades our culture. Within her lyrics there lies reference to Russian history which one cannot ignore, because it reveals her high level of education. Seeing an intelligent woman with talent claiming her power in a positive way AND making it big gives me hope for our future.

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs collaborated with her on the aforementioned track ‘Go!’ which will be on her new album Master of My Make-Believe (note the allusion to power over fantasy). And she’s touring with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Right now.

Rather than being a little envious (I love the Chili Peppers!), I am super-feeling-good about hearing more from Santigold. And I won’t have to wait long, her album is coming out May 1st!!!

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