Santigold has given us another glimpse into the world of Spirituals, her fourth album due out September 9th, with the release of “Nothing” and its accompanying video short. “Nothing” is Santigold at her most defiantly vulnerable. She shares, “Nothing is a song I wrote about invisibility. It’s a song for anyone who has not been seen, and for me it was an opportunity to explore how that feels. I wrote Nothing in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, and in writing the lyrics I was able to release a heaviness that I did not know I was carrying. Being Black and being a woman, particularly one who has chosen the creative path that I have chosen, I have always felt invisible to a degree. People see only what they think they know, or what they think I should be. Or sometimes, they see nothing at all. This song is about the burden of existing beneath a veil of nothingness. And the strength it requires just to be, despite it.”
On the “Nothing” visuals, Santi adds, “This video vignette was inspired by a Wangechi Mutu image called Snake Eater. I had seen the image years ago and when I was thinking up visual ideas for this song, this piece came to mind. I loved the idea of a being that is woman but also beyond human in some way, and even unclassifiable. A being for whom there is no name, no category, who is totally unique, and fierce. I wanted to become this type of creature in this video because I don’t believe we have to know how to name or define what we’re seeing to accept that it exists, that it’s beautiful and powerful and worthy of being exactly what it is. How exciting to encounter a being so magnificent that it is beyond our imaginations. How exciting to find that that beast is living within you and to set it free.”
Wangechi Mutu’s video piece starring Santigold, The End of Everything, is currently on view in London until September 18th as part of the In the Black Fantastic exhibition exploring Afrofuturism at the Hayward Gallery. Read The Guardian’s five star review here.