Take a stroll down Broadway in New York near the Billboard offices or wander down an alley in Austin, and you're likely to see some fresh graffiti. Spray-painted in gold letter on sidewalks and alleyway doors is a simple declaration: "I believe in Santogold."
Street team kids with paint and stencils aren't the only ones who believe in her, either. During the last several months, Santi White, who records under the name Santogold, has charmed music fans, the press and fashionistas alike. "Creator," the first single from new album "I Believe in Santogold" (April 29, Downtown Recordings), has been played on rap, alternative, college and top 40 dance stations. And in the space of one week in March, she played packed houses at South by Southwest and then jetted off to play a Stella McCartney fashion show after-party in Paris.
All this might sound like an overnight-sensation Cinderella story, had Santogold not spent several years in the early '90s as an A&R rep at Sony and more recently as a songwriter, whose collaborators have ranged from Spank Rock to Ashlee Simpson. In the runup to street date, a five-song album sampler was a viral hit online, and tracks have been featured in such TV shows as "Entourage" and "Grey's Anatomy," as well as a U.K. commercial for VO5 hair product.
The questions that now face the Santogold team is how to keep the momentum going and how to cross her over from hipster icon to bona fide pop star.
Click here for the full story, including how fashion is being used to market her image, the approach being taken at radio and overseas, and the artist's plan to "make radio good again."