Santigold

Critics' pick

To borrow the words of the late, great James Brown, Santigold likes to get involved—in a variety of different avenues. Since the release of her acclaimed self-titled debut, she has collaborated with artists like the Beastie Boys and David Byrne, helped pen songs for pop seductress Christina Aguilera, and toured alongside Björk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay and Kanye West. She also codirected the video for her recent single, “Disparate Youth,” and plays a major role in the design of her live show—which apparently involves a horse costume. Heck, she even teamed up with Vans a couple years back to create her own limited-edition shoe.

And that’s just the past four years. Let’s not forget Santigold’s tenure jumping around onstage as the frontwoman for Philly punk band Stiffed and her stint executive-producing R&B songbird Res’s sterling 2001 debut, How I Do, all while writing the occasional song for Ashlee Simpson and GZA.

Currently, the streets are abuzz in anticipation of Santi’s sophomore effort, Master of My Make Believe, due out May 1. Rumor has it she’s been logging studio hours with Q-Tip, Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)—not to mention stalwart collaborators Diplo, Switch and John Hill. This album will likely be as varied and unpredictable as, say, a Wednesday afternoon in the life of Santigold. After all, she’s a great many things, but it’s safe to say that she isn’t bored. And, for our part, neither are we.—Kristen Zwicker