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Monday, 06 August 2012 11:28

Charting the Music: Santigold, 'Master of My Make-Believe'

Charting the Music: Santigold, 'Master of My Make-Believe' / Paper Magazine
Written by Magdalene Linck

Santigold's sophomore release is anything but dull: "Master of My Make-Believe" provides a crowd-pleasing, uptempo fusion of electronic music, hip-hop and pop that serves as a soundtrack for summer.

The new release from Santi White showcases her eclectic taste, as she chose to work with a wide array of musicians and producers. Through these collaborations the sound put forth on her debut release, "Santogold," is refined and mastered, setting Santigold in a category of her own.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #1 Electronic, #8 Hip Hop, and #11 CMJ for the week of July 31, 2012.

Record label, release date and producers: "Master of My Make-Believe" was released in the UK on April 24, 2012 and in the US on May 1, 2012 by the Atlantic and Downtown labels. The album features a range of producers such as John Hill, Greg Kurstin (The Bird and the Bee), Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), Switch, Diplo and Santigold.

Can be heard on: "Master of My Make-Believe" has received a large amount of airplay since its stateside May release. Some of the tracks can be heard on Rawthentic with DJ Needles, Beep Beep Boop Boop with Kate, and Train of Thought with Nick Cowan.

Hometown: Santigold is from Philadelphia.

Key tracks: "Disparate Youth," "GO!" (featuring Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and "FAME." Released on February 22, 2012, "Disparate Youth" was the album's second single. The track, like many on the album was written collaboratively by Santigold, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ricardo Johnson. Zinner also aided in the writing of "GO!" with fellow bandmate Karen O. "FAME" was yet another collaboration featuring Sitek. Overall, each track on "Master of My Make-Believe" is a collaborative effort that pulls from the strongest aspects of its creators.

About the producer: This album, as well as Santigold's first album "Santogold," feature a slew of producers. Santigold worked extensively with John Hill for both releases. Hill has worked with artists such as Devo, Yelle, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan. Hill also worked with Santigold to write the incredibly catchy "L.E.S. Artistes," a fan favorite from her 2008 debut. Furthermore, Santigold worked with Diplo and Switch, who also appeared as producers on her debut.

About the label: Downtown Records works closely with the legendary Atlantic Records and represents artists such as Cold War Kids, Gnarls Barkley, and MSTRKRFT. A part of the Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records has been an integral part of the American music scene since its 1947 founding by Ahmet Ertugün and Herb Abramson. Atlantic is in part responsible for bridging the color barrier in early rock 'n' roll as it popularized the music of African-American musicians such as Big Joe Turner, LaVern Baker and Ray Charles.

RIYL: CSS, Sleigh Bells and Phantogram.

About the album art: The album art displays different depictions of Santigold and was designed by acclaimed photographer Jason Schmidt whose work has been featured in V, Vanity Fair and GQ.

On tour: Santigold toured the US early this summer, stopping in St. Louis on June 12, 2012. After finishing her US tour, Santigold embarked on a European tour, that includes dates in late August at both the Reading and Leeds music festivals. However, Santigold has returned stateside briefly for shows at Chicago's Lollapalooza (August 3-5) and Stephen Colbert's StePhest Colbchella ‘012: Rocktaugustfest (August 10) in New York.

Started as a band in: 2003 using the name "Santogold."

Award or accolade: Santigold's debut, "Santogold," was well received and made the list of the best albums of 2008 in Q, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone.

What the critics say: "All the while, Santigold dips in and out of genres as if she's sporting musical camouflage, including the big-beat hip-hop of 'Freak Like Me,' the touching balladry of 'The Riot's Gone' and the tribal electronics of 'Big Mouth.' Throughout, Santigold never stops playing spin-the-globe, and she also never loses sight of her mission to keep listeners moving." --Todd Martens of the L.A. Times Music Blog

Previous KDHX feature: Matt Fernandes reviewed Santigold's June 12, 2012 concert at the Pageant.

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