Santogold: Now Just “Santi”

A press release for the mtvU Woodies Awards is a weird place to mine your breaking news, but we do what we can. Yesterday we received a blast from MTV detailing the performers at their annual music-video-for-dorm-rooms award show, including Vampire Weekend featuring Chromeo, the Cool Kids featuring Asher Roth, Lykke Li, and “Santi (formerly known as Santogold).” Formerly known?

Well! This is sounding familiar, Dan Snaith.

Santogold’s birth name is Santi White, so just Santi is no different than what we wind up calling her in our posts anyway. More interesting is what likely precipitated the change. Remember Santo Gold? Of Santo Gold vs. Santogold? Guess there was some merit to his lawsuit after all. To refresh your memory, Santo Rigatuso is a sorta jack-of-all-trades actor/infomercial guy (selling gold chains) who’s been out there under the name Santo Gold since ’83. He owns santogold.com, and he was not cool with Santi’s name appropriation. At least, he was not cool with it enough to file some Lanham Act litigation to defend his good name (i.e. take his cut) after Santogold songs started popping up in every commercial ever. You’ve just been lawyered! However and in fairness, Santo did beat Santi to the Gold, and Santi did give a damning quote about getting that nickname in an early-stage interview: “My friend who made it up said she got it off an infomercial for cheap gold, and that was it.” Case closed, I guess.

So Santi has gone the way of the Caribou (FKA Manitoba). Don’t worry too much about her though, I’m sure she has her endorsement checks made out to that name anyway.

R.I.P., “I Believe In Santogold” publicity photo.

UPDATE: Although we’re still waiting on mtvU to clarify their press release’s implication that Santi’s changed her stage name, a publicist for Ms. White confirms that at present “Santi is still Santogold artistically.” Not there yet, Rigatuso.

Tags: Santigold