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Baker's Dozen

My Pioneers: Santigold's Favourite Albums
Tara Joshi , October 10th, 2018 07:44

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Santigold takes Tara Joshi through 13 favourite albums from Salt-N-Pepa to the Cocteau Twins, Fela Kuti, Nina Simone and Bad Brains, and points out that while Morrissey might have gone wrong, you can't take away what his songs once gave her

"Are you going to write about this lovely music playing in the background?" We're sitting in an opulent Marylebone hotel, and Santi White is laughing about the somewhat overzealous piano music that has been drifting up from the lobby since I arrived. Better known as artist Santigold, she's a little tired from flying over from the States that morning, but assures me that green tea will keep her going.

The records that she's listed in her Baker's Dozen are her "all-time favourites", she says, and - given how her DIY pop sound has always picked from all variety of genres and melded them into something quite her own - the array of albums she wants to talk about should perhaps not be surprising.

For Santigold genre restrictions and expectations are frustrating – "People still expect me to have an 'R&B' voice, even though that's not even close to what I make", she sighs at one point.

Her most recent album, I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions was a homage to her love of Jamaica (her family aren't from there, she explains, but they did go there most years while she was growing-up), and her choices reflect that connection somewhat. But just as integral to her sound have been punk, indie, afrobeat, and even Joni Mitchell.

Her list of albums and artists shows a deep interest in melody, lyrics, and - most importantly - some kind of innovation: or, as she puts it, "All the people on this list are pioneers – they're creators."

I Don’t Want: The Goldfire Sessions is out now on Downtown Records. Click the image of Santigold below to begin reading her selections