From January 14 to 25 I will be counting down the ten new acts I expect big things from in 2008. As always, it’s tough to predict just who will break through and who will fade into obscurity once the year ends, but really, the point of this exercise is to get you pumped about the artists I’m pumped about. Enjoy reading, and don’t hesitate to point out how right or wrong I was to us when 2009 comes around.

Meet Santogold. She’s friends with Spank Rock and M.I.A., has producers like Mark Ronson (who featured her on Version’s "Pretty Green”), Freq Nasty, the late Disco D, Diplo and Switch on speed dial, co-wrote Lily Allen’s "Littlest Things” and joined Björk’s tour after a personal invitation by the Icelandic god herself. (Oh, and she’s dating Canadian snowboarder Trevor Andrew — gotta get that CanCon in there…) She’s destined for glory, but the New Yorker born Santi White doesn’t need the help of others — she’s been forging her own path for years. White was once a member of the pop punk outfit Stiffed, as well as an A&R person at Epic, where she learned the hardships of the music industry and what not to do with her own career when she turned solo. It seems to have paid off for the Philly-bred artist, considering she was praised by just about everyone all last year and was too busy to even release her highly anticipated debut album (which will feature production from most if not all of the aforementioned names). But 2008 will be different, and finding herself on the cover of Fader’s January issue is a great start. With her songwriting partner John Hill (also a former member of Stiffed), White has amassed a unique body of work that finds her primed to surpass pal M.I.A. in the race to see who can hop more genres and confuse the most journalists. "L.E.S. Artistes” is her best bet for a crossover hit, highlighting her panache in the pop/rock vein. With a similar vocal pitch as Gwen Stefani, Santogold can certainly give that peroxide princess a run for her money on both commercial radio and in cooler circles, especially with the hipster cred on her side. But my money’s on tracks like the Switch-produced "Shove It” to make the real impact; Switch douses the jame in a bucket of dub for a flammable banger that should set dance floors ablazin’.

Santogold’s debut album is scheduled for a spring release on Downtown Records (Art Brut, Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids).

Click here for a tasty sampler of Santogold’s colourful range.

Santogold "L.E.S. Artistes”

Santogold feat. Spank Rock "Shove It” (Switch Remix)