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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


Bad Brains - Rock For Light
H.R. is the lead singer of Bad Brains, and whenever I think about influences on my melodies it's H.R. and Nina Simone. Bad Brains were hugely important to me, because they were a punk rock, hardcore band, and they were black and from DC, and they were rastafarian. They were especially interesting to me as a young girl – I didn't get to see them live in their prime, I was too young, but my sister did and that's how I got to know about them. She's three years older and she had great taste in music, and I learnt a lot from her. She would come home from a gig drenched in sweat and I was like 11, 12 and just thought it seemed so cool! So I started listening to Bad Brains. I was always interested in lyrics, and trying to sing along on this was so fast – it just opened my mind. There weren't many black singers you would hear about in rock, so for me as a kid it was great to see that they were black and sick and legit. They were pioneers in the genre. The first time I ever lost my voice at a gig was after covering 'Right Brigade' because I screamed so loud for it, and I was kind of excited by my voice going. I performed with Bad Brains later which was really cool. They were innovators: they took gospel drumming and sped it up, and that's what hardcore was based on. They claimed a space and didn't let anyone put a box around them and what black music was supposed to be.