imageSantigold’s 2008 debut album, “Santogold,” was a powerful distillation of many forms of rock, most notably New Wave and reggae. Fully in control of her initial solo statement, the artist who entered the music world earlier in the decade under her own name, Santi White, as a singer and producer, co-wrote all of tracks on “Santogold.” Along with some notable guests including Chuck Treece of the Bad Brains, John Graham Hill, who produced tracks by Charli XCX, Eminem, Kimbra and others, partnered with Santigold on the album’s production. He had been a member of the punk band Stiffed, for whom White served as lead singer.

An aside: The different spellings of the stage name used by Santi White was the result of a reported threat of legal action by Santo Gold, a film producer and entertainer. In 2009, White changed her stage name to Santigold from Santogold. “Santogold” remained the name of her outstanding debut.

What’s most impressive about the album was Santigold’s ability to make a cohesive whole out of so many different types of music. Her voice and attitude provided the consistency, but it was more than that. The album’s delivery was assured and assertive: The bass and drums popped as the disc opened with high energy tracks “L.E.S. Artistes,” a mid-tempo number with its roots in ‘80s rock; the ska-flavored “You’ll Find A Way”; and the reggae groove of “Shove It,” which featured muted horns. “And if we seem to rough it up a bit/We broke but we rich at heart,” she sang in “Shove It.” Santigold, who majored in African-American studies and music at Wesleyan University, fully embodied the character of a confident street tough throughout the album.

If she stretched the top of her voice in the sing-along “Say Aha,” with its chilly organ, pounding drums and pumping bass by Hill, she illustrated that she had done so intentionally by shifted to a smooth falsetto after a sudden shift in tempo before returning to the hooky chorus. “Creator,” the first single from the album, presented Santigold in an electronic-infused hip-hop context as she sang and offered rapid-fire, Jamaican-style toasting. It was a dazzling performance that revealed her versatility and command.

The fade out of “Creator” on “Santogold” ushered in a section of the album that featured co-production by Diplo, a musician and DJ who had worked earlier with M.I.A., the British singer and composer to whom Santigold is compared occasionally if not entirely accurately. (Today, Diplo is well known for his EDM duos Major Lazer and Jack Ü, the latter featuring Skrillex.) “Santogold” came out before EDM went mainstream, so his contributions to the production felt fresh. “My Superman” adapted the tone, tempo and melody of Siouxsie and the Banshees’s “Red Light” and profited from synthesized beats, strings and a bass line that walked like Frankenstein. The British DJ known as Switch joined Diplo and Hill in developing “Starstruck,” in which Santigold sang patiently and forcefully over big beats. On the undeniable “Unstoppable,” she entered coyly, then toasted and sang over darting beats. The track presented clearly her vision of a blend of New Wave, Jamaican rock and emerging electronic music – and she showed a new path to follow while making contemporary, albeit out-of-left-field, R&B.

To close out the album, Santigold delivered two pop numbers: “I’m a Lady,” which featured fat rounded tones on the bottom and a brief vocal interlude from Trouble Andrew; and “Anne,” which surrounded her voice with a wash of synth swooshes that didn’t diminish its allure.

After “Santogold,” Santigold and Diplo released a popular mixtape that emphasized further her interest in a variety of styles. But it was through her live shows that she won international acclaim: on tour, she shared the stage with Beastie Boys, Björk, Coldplay, Jay Z, M.I.A and Kanye West. Her second album, “Master of My Make Believe,” arrived in 2012. She continues to be a popular guest contributor, as a singer and a songwriter, to albums by hip-hop, pop and electronica artists.

As her first album suggested she would do, Santigold continues to assert herself as a powerhouse who defies expectation. Because its affection for established forms and her willingness to test them by presenting them in a new context, Santigold delivered one of the decade’s best debut discs.