“It made me feel safe and seen.” Reflections on the ten-year anniversary of Santigold’s debut

Santigold | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

For the first time in life I felt like I had good taste in music. Thank you, Santigold.

Growin up, my musical taste were vapid at best. I thrived off off bubblegum pop, and top-40 Hip-Hop. *NSYNC’s self-titled album was my first cassette. Britney’s Baby One More Time was my first compact disc. By the time I made it to high-school, I discovered Fueled By Ramen and was having a field day with Gym Class Heroes and Panic At The Disco.

Then 2008 entered like a wrecking ball, and in came Santigold right behind it. I can’t recall the first time that I heard “L.E.S. Artistes”; I imagine a song or two from the self-titled Santigold may have popped up on my MIA Pandora radio. But I do remember being enamored by this weird black girl. Her yelps and whoops on songs like “You’ll Find A Way” threw me off, and made me uncomfortable in a good way. I was also taken aback by the fact that she made little effort to look and be cool. Contrary to what I was accustomed to, Santigold didn’t have to put on airs.

Here, I have the option to be objective when talking about the work of Santigold. But to be honest, I would not be doing this review justice if I did not contextualize it with my own experience. My thoughts on Santigold, and her debut album more specifically, are deeply intertwined with my own identity. At a time where I was struggling to find an identity for myself, as many 17-year-olds do, Santigold presented herself as the weirdo black girl role model that I didn’t know I needed. The songs on Santigold were introspective (“you don’t know me, I am an introverted excavator”) and self-affirming (“I am a creator, thrill is to make it up”). Santigold’s music made me feel safe and seen. Continue reading →


Santigold comes home for Neighborhood Flavor Block Party at The Piazza

Santigold | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN |
Santigold | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN |

Philly native Santigold is slated to appear at The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons on Saturday, September 17th as part of the Neighborhood Flavor concert series. This run of block parties highlights the home cities of popular artists, with each show being preceded by a mini-doc that details the artist’s rise to stardom.

Before Santi White turned gold, she attended Germantown Friends School, graduating in 1993. She also fronted the fantastic local punk band Stiffed before relocating to New York and launching her solo career. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Santigold at the TLA, Japanese Breakfast at World Cafe Live, The City and I at Boot & Saddle

Santigold for WXPN| Photo by John Vettese

Santigold brings her latest LP 99¢ to the TLA tonight. The Philly native gave an outstanding performance at last year’s Made In America Festival, complete with live band and dancers. It’s safe to say that tonight’s show will be equally mesmerizing, no matter what Santi has planned. Check out “Chasing Shadows” below and pick up tickets here.

Continue reading →


Just Announced: Santigold will headline the TLA in May

Santigold for WXPN| Photo by John Vettese
Santigold| Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

One of my favorite sets from last year’s Made In America Festival was the tripped-out and colorful performance from New York-based Philly native Santigold, who brought a whole squad of friends and fans onstage to dance with her while flanked by a band and a pair of dancers working the scene with selfie sticks.

It was an awesome spectacle, but even had it been more straightforward on the visual end, it still would have ruled, since Santi is a dynamic performer with a rich catalog of catchy club jammers. This winter she’s releasing her third LP, 99¢, and her tour in support of it brings Santigold back to Philadelphia to headline the TLA on South Street on May 1st. Continue reading →


Day Two at Made In America: Pearl Jam, Drake, Odd Future, Jill Scott and the return of Run DMC

It was just another typical star studded day fun day of music at day two of Made In America yesterday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Jay-Z performed “99 Problems” with Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam covered The Who, The Clash and ended their set with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.” Drake brought out 2 Chainz to perform “No Lie,” then introduced French Montana to rap with him. Philly soulsinger Jill Scott brought Eve out on stage for a couple of songs. Jay-Z and Beyonce walked throughout the crowd and stood on the side of the stage for a dazzling set by Gary Clark, Jr. (Clark was the only artist to play both days). Tyler, the lead rapper from Odd Future, was dancing on the street to Drake. Even the fans got in on the action; Santigold invited several dozen audience members to dance on stage during “Creator.” While Pearl Jam were the headliner favorites of the day, it was the return of Run DMC that got the most exuberant reception from the crowd. Under a banner that said Jam Master Jay Forever (jay was murdered in 2002), Run and DMC rocked the classics including “Walk This Way,” “My Adidas,” “Mary, Mary,” and “Rock Box.” They paused a moment to remember their DJ and brought out Jay’s two sons, who are adept DJ’s themselves, for a short set. It was a poignant moment during MIA’s second incredible day of music. Below, watch a fan videos of Jay-Z and Pearl Jam performing “99 Problems.” Via Youtuber That Guy In Philly watch Run DMC’s “It’s Like That,” “It’s Tricky,” and “Walk This Way.” Go here to see Pearl Jam’s complete set list.


Listen to Santigold’s new album, Master Of My Make-Believe, via streaming audio at NPR Music

Philly-born Santigold’s sophomore album, Master Of My Make-Believe, is set for release on May 1st (via Downtown and Atlantic Records). Earlier this month, she announced a series of tour dates in support of the release, including a performance at the Trocadero on Tuesday, May 8th. From NPR Music:

As uncompromising in her own way as M.I.A., whose music attacks more viscerally, Santigold seems ambivalent about most everything she touches on Master of My Make-Believe — especially success, if “Fame” is any indication. Even the profanity-laced “Look at These Hoes” seems to straddle the line between loathing material excess and embracing it; in that case, the result feels deadpan to the point of half-heartedness.

With its frequent nods to island rhythms — and the aid of collaborators from old standbys Diploand Switch to Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Karen O — Master of My Make-Believe has a sprawl to it that belies its 38-minute run time. As a result, whether a given song comes out as a jolt (“Freak Like Me”) or a trot (“Pirate in the Water”), Master of My Make-Believe feels packed and filling. But fun has been edged out of the equation a bit, in favor of an emphasis on ferocity and artistry that’s increasingly hard to deny

You can read the full write-up and listen to the album in its entirety here.


Santigold announces U.S. tour dates, will perform at The Trocadero on Tuesday May 8th

The Philly-born, Brooklyn-based Santigold has just announced a series of tour dates in support of her upcoming sophomore album, Master Of My Make Believe. The tour includes a stop at The Trocadero on Tuesday, May 8th. The album—set for release on May 1st (via Downtown and Atlantic Records)—is the follow-up to Santigold’s critically acclaimed 2008 debut. You can watch the video for the song “Big Mouth” off Master Of My Make Believe below.

4/30 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
5/08 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero
5/09 – Providence, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
5/11 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
5/12 – Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights
5/15 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus
5/16 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
5/25 – George, WA – Gorge Amphitheatre (Sasquatch Festival)
5/26 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
5/28 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
5/29 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
6/04 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
6/06 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues
6/07 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
6/09 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
6/10 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
6/12 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
6/13 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
6/15 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
6/16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
6/18 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
6/19 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live!
6/22 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues
6/23 – New York, NY – Governors Ball Music Festival
6/29 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
6/30 – Rothbury, MI – Electric Fores