By Zuzanna Skwiot
In the latest stop in their Uncapped concert series, vitaminwater and FADER took over the Marquardt Trucking warehouse in Chicago’s West side for an impromptu show. With Santigold and Wale headlining the evening, and a surprise appearance by Melanie Fiona and the spinning of Vincent Mason of De La Soul, the concert united two different musical performances.

“I think this Vitamin Water and Uncapped Event is completely different from any of the other shows I’ve done in Chicago because it’s a small, intimate event and it’s also just a pop-up surprise show, which is a nice way to bring new music to the public,” says Santigold, prior to her performance. “I always like finding opportunities to do shows in interesting environments and I think what they’re doing is really cool in that way.”

Fresh off the release of her second studio album “Master of My Make-Believe,” Santigold performed with two constantly-dancing backup dancers. With makeshift hammers, ropes and even a mascot horse, the high-energy set included hits “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes” and then transitioned into the newer album.

The new songs, including “The Keepers,” her newest single, energized the 1,000-plus crowd.

“I think the world is kind of in a crazy place right now,” says Santigold before the show. “I think a lot of people feel really disconnected and like they can’t make any change and don’t have a voice. Which is why I think we had all that craziness last year with the riots. “The Keepers” is about the fact that we are in fact the ones who take control.”

The song, which will be the fourth single from the album, is Santigold’s most epic-sounding single. The multilayered instrumentals throughout the track echo the meaning behind the lyrics as well.

“We are the keepers, the citizens of the world,” she says. “It’s about taking responsibility for the world and the environment.”

The personal messages throughout her album and her set are consistent. The style of music, however, is constantly changing. Ranging from a ballad to a rap to a dance track, Santigold’s performance evolves and transitions into new genres.

‘“I guess the most unique and interesting thing about my music is that it’s genre-less music,” says Santigold. “It’s a mash-up, it’s a collage.”

And that’s a style and uniqueness that she’s taken the time to craft.“I think that the great thing about it is that most of us – all of us – are unique as people and if we take the time to spend some time with ourselves to figure out what’s special about each of us, then we all are unique,” she explains. “I just think that too many times people don’t take the time to get to know themselves and what’s special about them.”

For Santigold, the artist, that inner reflection is crucial to her music.

“If you’re going to make art, or call yourself an artist, you need to spend a lot of time figuring out yourself and in doing that, figuring out what you have to say and what you have to bring that’s special to the table,” she adds. So it’s not something that you decide from the outside in, it’s about figuring out from the inside out, like what’s special about me and what do I have to bring to the world that’s unique.”

Her music and her performances vary in style and genre. Whether she’s performing large venues or a small popup show like the Uncapped series, she’s energizes the crowd with her unique voice and concert style.

“It’s a mash-up of all these different styles and influences, put together in a way that I guess is unique to who I am,” she says. “I never thought of music as genres, and as far as my musical DNA, it’s just mixed up.”

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