LaParadiddle.com’s Women In Music Part 3
Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?
Santigold was awarded at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards with a Vanguard Award in 2009, which is awarded to new and developing artists expecting to make an impact on future music.
It seems they were right!
Aside from her unique presence on stage and modern new wave sound, I have to applaud the performer for some of her honest statements about the music industry.
Taken from her interview with Pitchfork in February:
“I’m disappointed with the state of music right now, but it’s not really about anybody specific. I think there’s a lack of true art, and the fanfare is valued over actual substance. It’s like you don’t have to make good music to be f—— huge. (…)
I watched a music awards show last year and started crying afterwards. I just felt really sad that people go along with stupid wack sh–. I’m sorry, but LMFAO performed at the Super Bowl? Aren’t they a joke band?
As I had recently been discussing the state of the performer in this article, I found her statements to be very relevant. As for herself in the public eye, she commented, “Nowadays, everyone has to have an angle, everyone’s marketing themselves constantly. You’re under a f—— microscope, and that’s very unnatural, so no one wants to just be themselves”.
Santigold, or Santi White, who is said to have studied Music and African-American studies while in college, was working as an A&R representative at Epic Records before leaving to co-write and produce for the artist Res. Other sources and older Pitchfork articles site her as having joined other groups, including a punk band, before gaining more attention as an artist in 2007.
Oh, yeah, and she helped to produce the newest Devo album. She’s kickin’ it!
What’s that? Hold up! Maybe you only know Deschanel from New Girl or Elf or that frustrating Siri ad that, unfortunately, makes Deschanel look like she can’t walk to a window to see if it is raining, or bust open a can of soup.
However, you may also know that she is a singer and musician. If not, well….today’s your lucky day!
Coming from a showbiz family, she began singing in films (as seen in Elf) and recording versions of songs for soundtracks.
In 2001 she formed a cabaret act with friend Samantha Shelton, titled If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies.
The first album for the band She & Him, comprised of Deschanel and M. Ward, was released in 2008.
Since then she has been singing in various areas, whether it be the “Star Spangled Banner” during the World Series, or being picked by Loretta Lynn to star on Broadway in The Coal Miner’s Daughter”. In 2012 She & Him were nominated for a Grammy award for Best Song Written for Visual Media (Winnie the Pooh).
So, you may say, “what’s the big deal here”, since plenty of other musicians have achieved similar goals.
I admire Deschanel for always being herself, though she may find herself at the butt of many hipster or quirky girl jokes. I feel that a lot of the negativity aimed at her is unfair. Would it be more acceptable if she were performing traditional pop or dressing in skimpy outfits, instead of in vintage dresses? She receives so much criticism for wanting to be feminine. Since when is being feminine against the feminist movement? The whole statement is contradictory. It’s like criticizing a vegetarian for eating vegetables. Deschanel plays multiple instruments, is a talented singer, started her own website, her own show, seems to be able to handle herself and her businesses in a professional and strong manner…what’s the problem? Let the girl dress girly! Her actions speak louder than words, and to me her actions say that she can get a lot more done that a lot of us. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have access to more resources than most of us…but that’s another post, too.
I’ve seen She & Him at the House of Blues, and it was a great show!
I’m really glad that one of my first posts on this blog was about the talented Doe Paoro. Skeptical at first due to many artists who claim to achieve what it is that Doe Paoro has, in fact, achieved, I was blown away. The songs hit every point possible that they were intended to.
Sonia Kreitzer had been singing for some time. But then she turned around and did something completely unique-mixing her study of Lhamo with soul. It’s a sound I have tried to explain to others and can’t seem to do well, so I’d rather they just go and find out!
I admire Kreitzer’s artistic integrity and understanding, which was clear in the interview I was able to do with her in January.
Oh, yes, and she was listed as ‘brilliant’ in New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix. The artist performed SXSW this year, and we are sure to hear more from her and the band. At least I hope so. Having gone from a Youtube video of the song she wrote to where she is now, she is definitely one to watch.
About the time I started to try and network more for the purpose of blogging, it was suggested I contact Alyson Greenfield. I ended up interviewing her in May.
Greenfield does a lot. Singer, songwriter, pianist…percussion, synth, beatboxing…and the founder of a festival.
From her site:
“Greenfield was named “One of the 5 CMJ 2011 Acts You Should Have Seen” by The Faster Times, an “Upcoming NYC Artist” by NYC’s The Deli, and was one of the first 5 artists chosen to record at Converse’s Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn. Greenfield’s engaging and charismatic live performances where “the stage becomes her playroom” (Venus Zine), have been called “amazing…funny, spontaneous” (Thy Daily Noise) and “mesmerizing to watch” (Music Crush Girl). In addition to being a songwriter and performer, Greenfield is also the Founder/Director of the Tinderbox Music Festival, an annual Brooklyn-based event showcasing emerging female musicians, and giving back to NYC non-profits empowering young women through the arts. The festival has grown quickly since its formation in 2010, garnering press from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Billboard, Brooklyn Vegan, and more.”
Oh, yikes. Let me put on some jet packs and try to catch up!
I’m happy that Greenfield is extending her skills to showcasing others and is a great resource for others!
I just listened to many cover songs sung by Keaira LaShae, who I profiled a while back. LaShae displays a vast array of genres with her voice, and I think I may like her version of “Neither One Of Us” better than the original (what?!).
LaShae has a very interesting background and does it all. At fourteen she competed at “Showtime at the Apollo”, where she met her first manager. As you can see in her bio, she has been in the music industry for a while. Singer, dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor, she aims to be proactive and her energy is infectious.
On one of her past experiences she says (from her site):
“They [her team at the time] said, sing like this, dance like this, and it will work. And it did,” she says, “But it wasn’t me. I knew I had to get out of this… I [wasn’t] happy.” Keaira LaShae listened to her heart and had a professional renaissance. “I had to step up and say, ‘I’m gonna do me.’ That’s been the best decision of my life.”
Thanks for reading my Women In Music series! It was tough to narrow it down. Honestly, every musician who has been profiled on LaParadiddle is a serious contender, but I didn’t want the series to turn into The Neverending Story, minus the flying dog. Wait, that was a dragon? Was it?
Stay tuned! And let me know what you think, of course! Agree? Disagree? Throwing tomatoes at your computer monitor? Doing a happy dance? Let me know in the comments section!