After the name-change controversy that caused Santogold to become Santigold (oh the horror), she’s finally back in action. Her new track champions a fusion of frantic tribal beats, techno and plenty of atmospheric whooping and owl-like woo-ing. Produced by one half of Major Lazer duo Switch and Buraka Som Sistema, “Big Mouth” demonstrates what Santigold is known best for: traversing genres and spanning countries with electro synths mixed with African kuduro-inspired beats.
Santigold is an artist I find personally inspiring, particularly so for the unusual way that she entered the music industry – essentially, backwards. After writing lyrics and making unique beats from as young as nine, she got into music production during college after studying Cuban, Haitian and West African drumming techniques, and started writing songs for artists. Not being able to fully realise her aesthetic ideals propelled her towards singing and performance, which gradually drew her towards the stage. Not forgetting her rich musical background and continuing to produce and create music, Santigold is one of shamefully few well-known female singer-songwriters and producers. In the mainstream music industry, performer and musicality have almost become polarised concepts, which I believe has a negative impact on the creative spirits of young people today.
The video for “Big Mouth” has already caused quite a stir on Youtube, prompted by die-hard Lady Gaga fans who’ve noticed the lazer-eyed tiger chewing on a blonde mermaid who bears a remarkable likeness to Lady G herself. But of course, controversy equals wider publicity, so who can really blame Santi for doing so?
Needless to say I’m definitely Team Santigold (I feel like there should be a hashtag in there somewhere)– it’s time to hear more real music and less of the manufactured, recycled stuff that comes pouring out of club stereo systems.