This is probably my favorite superlative to give out at the end of each year. It is given to the artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. In the past winners have included:
2000- Radiohead - Kid A
2001- The Strokes - Is This It?
2002- NERD - In Search of...
2003- The White Stripes - Elephant
2004- The Killers - Hot Fuss
2005- The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute
2006- TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
2007- Kanye West - Graduation
... now to add to this list is 2008's biggest breakout star, someone who has seen the highs and lows of the music industry from behind the mixer and in front, and now can enjoy a great success. Brooklyn make some noise for....
I first came to hear Santogold in the fall of 2007 as she was hand selected by Bjork to open for her at Madison Square Garden. Santo at the time, an unknown, came on stage as if she was the headliner and from that moment on I knew she would be the next big thing. After putting out her self-titled debut this past year and finding time to hook up with DJ Diplo to release one of the best mixtapes of the year, Santogold has become music's hottest commodities. A former A&R executive turned producer she linked up with her friends Spank Rock to produce her first record which sounds like a fierce Cindy Lauper meets MIA. Now everyone from Jay-Z to NERD to Julian Casablancas has worked with her and music not only has a new rising star, but an artist with a vision. Santo is able to combine hip-hop, dub, reggae, rock and electronica and is not afraid to broaden her horizon's even more. She is poppy but artistic, she is humble but bold, she is energetic...she is Santogold.
Key Tracks - L.E.S. Artist, I'm A Lady (feat. Trouble Andrew)