With her comeback album, Master Of My Make Believe, due out in May, Santigold's ready to start making the promotional rounds to explain just why it took her four years to release her sophomore record. And she did exactly that in an interview with Pitchfork while also revealing what (finally) inspired her to start writing again. Apparently she just had a really, really terrible case of writer's block that changed after she heard some reggae through a shitty soundsystem on a speed boat.
Pitchfork: Was there a turning point as far as your creativity while making this album?
S: In May of 2010, I took a trip to Jamaica with Switch, Diplo, and John Hill. It was supposed to be the most productive trip-- I was supposed to finish my record in those two weeks. But it totally did not go down like that at all. Everybody was in a weird place. It was when everybody's career started taking off in different directions and we weren't the same four people that we had been last time. And, since we're all generally friends, you have to deal with a lot more emotional bullshit-- you can get great music out of those friendships sometimes, but it can also be difficult. Still, that trip actually had the hugest impact on my record.
I was having writer's block; I just did not have lyrics. Last time, it was coming right off of my dad dying and I hadn't had a creative outlet in a minute and it poured out of me. This time, I hadn't figured out the answers that I needed to write the songs. But the lyrics started coming out in Jamaica. I went out on this tiny speedboat with Diplo-- we were flying, no life jackets, it was so dangerous. I'm just holding on to the metal bars-- if I flew off, I would have gotten run over and died. But I was like, "This is so much fun!"
This speedboat had a little sound system, and it was playing old reggae, and it was making this distorted, blown-out, grinding sound over the ocean. And I was like, "This is what I want my record to feel like." That mood, and that adrenaline, and all of that beauty stayed with me through making the rest of the music.
Pitchfork: How would you describe the overall theme of this album?
S: Most of the songs are about being in control of your world. That was a really important message for me as an artist in this process, but also in the world right now. We're in a weird place. There are so many riots and rebellions going on. It seems like a truth is coming out. Like, "Disparate Youth" is about the youth creating their own world and not having to take this broken shit that's handed to them. I played my record for Jay-Z a while ago, and he was like, "It sounds like a revolution." [laughs]
But the best part about the interview is when she absolutely lays into LMFAO and basically says what we've all been thinking (and saying).
I watched a music awards show last year and started crying afterwards. I just felt really sad that people go along with stupid wack shit. I'm sorry, but LMFAO performed at the Super Bowl? Aren't they a joke band? That type of shit makes me cry. I'm like, "Really?"
Hahaha, wow. Anyway, you can read the rest of the article over at Pitchfork.
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