Shake

Album: Spirituals (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Over an ascending synth loop, Santigold celebrates human resilience. "I can't say this song is about one thing, as much as it's about a feeling," the art-pop singer said. "It's about flow, about riding the ebb and flows of life, it's about rolling with it, moving through it, letting it all move through you. And it's about the feeling in that moment when you feel life flowing through you, the rapture of it all. It's about our resilience as humans, and our ability to keep rising back up in the face of hardship and moving forward."
  • "Shake" originated with an instrumentation created by SBTRKT. The English producer had sent Santigold several tracks he'd been working on, and this one stood out. It sounded so unlike anything she'd previously heard from him, and also totally different to anything she'd ever done before. "I literally stepped in front of the mic, and opened my mouth and said 'ooh - hoo, shake, shake shake!,'" Santigold shared, "and the whole rest of the melody poured out from there. And then when I sat down to finish the lyrics, they came just as quick."

    "'Shake' is one of those songs that was just floating around me for the taking," she added. "What I mean is that there are some songs that basically write themselves, and all you have to do as the artist is be open enough to reach out and pull it in and say thank you. When that happens I am always so grateful because it's like the universe just handed me a gem. I sit down to write and as soon as I open my mouth the song just pours out."
  • Electronic producer and artist SBTRKT (birth name Aaron Jerome) achieved public recognition with his 2014 album Wonder Where We Land, which reached both the UK and US album charts. We then heard little from him until he resurfaced in the summer of 2022 and dropped the singles "Miss The Days" and "Bodmin Moor." SBTRKT also contributed production to another of Santigold's 2022 singles, "Ain't Ready."
  • Like his fellow EDM artists, Daft Punk, Marshmello and Deadmau5, SBTRKT prefers to keep his anonymity by wearing a mask. In his instance, they are modern interpretations of native society ceremonial masks designed by the visual art director, A Hidden Place.
  • The song's music video is a performance-art piece that takes inspiration from the perseverance of young civil rights protesters. "For this piece, I was inspired by the images of the civil rights protesters being pounded with high-pressure water hoses, turned on them by the authorities, during their peaceful protests," said Santigold. "The strength and fortitude that it took for them, many just teenagers and young adults, to endure what they did and keep going, is monumental. This video is an homage to them, in which I try to power through singing this song while enduring the pain of a high-pressure water hose."

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