Back with her badass blend of dub, rock and new wave, Santigold’s second album Master of My Make-Believe is a super-fine cut of outer-limits pop. The NYCbased 35-year-old reteams with John Hill – from her old punk band Stiffed – Diplo and Switch, and a host of new collaborators including Q Tip, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV On The Radio’s David Sitek. Kim Taylor Bennett spoke to Santigold about ghosts, celebrities and scars.
Memorable melodies and surprising rhythms characterise the record, but there are some serious topics hidden within these alt.pop gems.
The song “The Keepers” is really in line with the theme of the record which is about being in control of your world. It’s about taking responsibility for the state of things and also claiming influence and the ability to change it. I sang specifically about America, but I’m really talking about the whole world. While we’re turning our head and not addressing the things that we don’t think are right, things are falling apart.
She definitely believes in ghosts.
So many of my friends have seen them, but I never have! I do believe ghosts don’t show themselves to people who are afraid to see them. I think I have strong intuition and some of my dreams have come true. I think that we all have spiritual guardians, so the idea of being able to interact with them is really cool.
When Santigold was a senior in high school she won an award for her art.
I used to love oil painting but now that I’m moving around a lot, I’ve started doing collage as it’s easier doing it on the road. I try to get my visual aesthetic fixation in other things, with videos or costume designs or the album artwork, because I miss painting. It’s something I plan on going back to. She believes the obsession with “celebrity” won’t last forever. I believe in the pendulum effect: as far as we go one way I hope that something will turn it around and we’ll realise this is so stupid and pathetic. The meaning of the term “celebrity” is so broad already, to the point where people are celebrities for giving birth to eight children at one time. I have faith that at some point we’ll all look back at this time and laugh.
Santigold has a large scar on her thigh where she was hit by a car.
My friend and I were unloading her groceries out of my car, we’d pulled over and had our hazard lights on, it was totally legit. This guy wasn’t paying attention and slammed into us sandwiching us between two cars. She broke everything. I was lucky and just tore my ligament and have a big scar. I’m starting not to care so much about it now, but I hated it for years.
Santigold’s Master of My Make-Believe is available on iTunes for $9.99.
By Time Out on May 25 2012 10.06am