Shes the hottest new artist on the block and of course MTV interviewed her
Santi White- who records as Santogold- is currently one of the hottest artists around and has worked with just about the best producers on earth for her debut album.
Mark Ronson, Diplo, Timbaland and Switch have all worked with Philadelphia native Santi. She has also written hits for other people including Littlest Things for Lily Allen and the ridiculously catchy Ashlee Simpson track Outta My Head.
She mashes ska, rock, dub, house and hip hop into her own music making her the natural heir to M.I.As very cool crown.
Her new single L.E.S Artistes is out May 5.
MTV online caught up with Santogold
What are your first musical memories?
There was always music in the house and my dad took me to see Fela Kuti and James Brown when I was about 7 years old. My sister was listening to classic rock too like Led Zeppelin and Joni Mitchell. Between her, my dad and school I was set from an early age!
And when did you first start writing songs and playing instruments?
From age 9 I started writing raps then I wrote poems. When I was 19 and working at record companies I started writing melodies. I realised quickly I wanted to write songs.
How did Santogold come about?
I signed a girl and ended up writing and exec-producing her album- from that experience I realised I wanted to do my own record. At that point Id never really sung. I wrote a record that ended up being a punk project called Stiffed. Santogold is the next step and I took everything and joined it- I learnt about my voice and that I like to play with it and get different textures and ranges.
Who have you worked with on the album?
John Hill is the main producer. He was the bassist in Stiffed and we did most of the music together. Switch (British house remixer and producer) worked on lots of stuff- he was really excited that it was music outside of the club world. I worked with Diplo (M.I.A producer) and Disco D on a more dubby track.
What is your aim for the album?
I hope that I help break down boundaries and genre classifications. If Im a black woman Im just about singing R&B. I guess with those producers Im supposed to be making club music. Im not one dimensional and my music isnt. I want the most people as possible to connect to it.
Why is Philadelphia so hot at the moment?
I met all these Philly people like Spank Rock and Amanda Blank after I moved back to New York. So much talent comes out of Philly but you have to live there for it to come out. I left NY and I went back because there is room to breathe and think. Its a good place to create.
Is breaking the UK important to you?
The UK has a creative climate where people are more open to things that are new and different to how they are in the states. I had no expectations of people being interested in what I was doing. Id heard the stuff that Lily was doing and how Gnarls Barkley broke big here so I thought in the UK people can do different things and people like it. The people here were first to get me. I was playing at Fabric before Id written any of the album. Now Letterman is asking me on.
L.E.S Artistes comes out May 5