Santigold is an artist who exists at the cross-section of punk, dub, new wave and indie pop. Long frustrated with attempts like these to classify her style, Santi has always been a proud outlier among the restrictive categories used to divide music.
Santi’s anti-establishment bent was in part a reaction to working as an A&R for Epic Records’ black music department. Frustrated with what they categorized as “urban music” in the early aughts, Santi left her job, went home to Philly, and started a punk band called Stiffed. After honing her chops for a few years as a lead singer, Santi released her debut solo album, Santigold in 2008. The album’s lead singles “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes” were a revelation when they came out, and led to Santi headlining tours around the world and even opening shows for Bjork, Coldplay, Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys.
Now with three other albums to her credit, including last year’s soul-stirring Spirituals, Santigold is celebrating the 15th anniversary of her debut release. And today she’s expanded her artistic endeavors to include a podcast called Noble Champions where she mines the creative life with friends like Olivia Wilde, Questlove and Yasiin Bey.
On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Santigold about the unique path she took to build her solo career. Santi also shares why she decided to cancel her tour last year with a heartfelt public letter that shared insight into the financial and emotional toll of touring post-pandemic. She also recalls finding out that she was included in a list of influential black female artists on Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” remix.
You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Santigold songs HERE.
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