Santigold and Dre Skull initially met in a writing session and bonded over their shared passion for Reggae and Afro-Caribbean music. Dre Skull, known for working across dancehall, hip hop, and electronic music as a DJ, producer and founder of Mixpak Records became an instant creative comrade of Santi’s. They initially decided to explore their ideas for a mixtape, which ultimately grew into a 10 song project called I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions. Over the course of two weeks, they recorded the bulk of the songs, playing with Reggae and Afro-Caribbean influences while pushing and pulling their pillars with Santi's singular point of view. As the writing and recording gained steam, Santi unearthed a few gems (ideas she had started with producers Ricky Blaze and Diplo) from her unreleased vaults and she and Dre reworked them, threading together classic Santigold ideas with the spirit of this new work. The incisive social commentary, humor, and daredevil sound that have become hallmarks of her work take on exciting new forms on this project. Unlike other Santigold albums, which are recorded over long periods and heavily curated and edited by Santi, I Don’t Want is a loose and spontaneous project, a snapshot of the infectious energy of the sessions with Dre Skull.” I just wanted to make some summertime music in a quick, fun, light way, like it feels to make a mixtape, but where a classic mixtape has a bunch of songs by different artists and influences, this project has all new songs by me.
The record has themes which speak to the current social climate (many of which run throughout much of her work): anti-materialism, empowerment, female strength, resilience, and not compromising oneself but staying one's course even when the tide has turned.