Shingai Shoniwa

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Shingai Shoniwa
Shingai Shoniwa performing in Atlanta 4.jpg
Background information
Born (1981-09-22) 22 September 1981 (age 32)
London, England [1]
Genres Post-punk revival, indie rock, soul, blues
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar, cello
Years active 2000-present
Labels Universal, Motown, Vertigo
Associated acts Noisettes, Chrome Hoof, Sonarfly
Website www.noisettes.co.uk
Notable instruments
Fender Jaguar Bass

Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa[2] (/ʃɪŋˈɡ/ shing-GYE; born on 22 September 1981) is an English singer, best known as the vocalist and bassist for the UK indie rock band Noisettes. Her first name, Shingai, means "be strong" in the Shona language.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Shoniwa was born in London and grew up in South London. Her father (a politician) died when she was 11, leaving her to a single mother who remarried a Cambridge University Medical student from Zimbabwe. Shoniwa has a twin sister, TV Presenter Shorai Shoniwa.[5] The experience, Shoniwa says, absolutely informs her music. “Wanting to escape from reality can inspire the greatest and most trivial creative natures in people,” and “I think escapism is something that connects all of us. Everybody has their own little soundtrack, and I guess I’m trying to make my own soundtrack to my escape plan. I want people to realise that there’s so much more.”[6]

She first wanted to be an actress, and for a while joined the Lost Vagueness crew as a burlesque performer.[5][7][8] She studied circus skills at a London youth club as a teenager.[5] When she graduated, she attended art school and dabbled in local theatre. Her classmate and friend, Dan Smith, would hold what she called "ridiculous jam sessions — too many people strumming broken guitars thinking they're Syd Barrett". She then went on to study at the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon."[9] One day she joined him singing, and the two quickly formed a group called the Noisettes.[9]

Music career[edit]

Critical response to Shoniwa's performance has largely been positive. Rolling Stone magazine said that "Shoniwa is a living, breathing manifestation of the rock & roll spirit, with a voice that is equal parts Iggy Pop and Billie Holiday."[10] In her stage persona, Shoniwa looks like what the New Yorker called "an African supermodel",[5] and she frequently performs in bare feet while wearing face paint or fur hats on stage.[5]

Shingai Shoniwa has provided backing vocals for different indie rock, electronic, and punk rock artists including, Guillemots with their song "Made Up Love Song#43" and "Over the Stairs".[11] Shoniwa made an appearance on Annie Lennox's 2007 album, "Songs Of Mass Destruction" on the single Sing. The track, about the fight against HIV and AIDS, included 22 other renowned female artists such as Madonna, Melissa Etheridge, Gladys Knight, and Celine Dion.[12]

Shoniwa, along with Patti Smith and Juliette Lewis helped celebrate Jack Daniel's birthday in Lynchburg, Tennessee on 13 October 2007. The three were joined by The New Silver Cornet Band for the show, which took place at the company's distillery. The event was part of the 157th birthday celebrations for Jack Daniel, who was born in September 1850. The Birthday JD Set opened to specially invited guests and competition winners only.[13]

On 19 November 2009, Shoniwa performed with rapper Dizzee Rascal at the Royal Albert Hall for an event to raise money for charity. Additional collaboration of Shingai with Rascal related to a version of UK rapper's "Holyday".

Shoniwa is credited for vocals of Dennis Ferrer's "Hey Hey" dance/house track (released late November 2009).

On 31 December 2009 Shingai was featured in the 'Annual Hootenanny 2010' show (aired by BBC), where she performed together with Jools Holland a version of "Don't Upset the Rhythm" and contributed to the vocals of tail-song "Down By The Riverside".

In 2013, Shoniwa appeared on the album "Chrome Black Gold" by Chrome Hoof, singing lead on four tracks. She also made appearances live with the band.[14]

Other endeavours[edit]

Shoniwa joined Amnesty International's Make Some Noise and appeared in an Instant Karma! video singing John Lennon's song "Imagine" to raise awareness for the conflict in Darfur.[15]

On 8 September 2009, Shoniwa appeared as a special guest on the Five discussion programme The Wright Stuff.

Shoniwa is also signed with NEXT Model Management in London.[16]

Shoniwa provides the voice of the character Teal on the CBeebies show The Adventures of Abney & Teal.

Equipment[edit]

Solo discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dazed Digital.com: Shingai Shoniwa[dead link]
  2. ^ "American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers: Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa". ASCAP. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "Shingai perseverance". Retrieved 9 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Annie's Song Was A Joy - The Daily Record[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d e Frere-Jones, Sasha (16 April 2007), "THE SHONIWA SHOW". New Yorker. 83 (8):24
  6. ^ "Growing up music experiences". Retrieved 10 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "Shingai first wanted to be an actress". Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  8. ^ "Co-creator of the infamous Golden Egg". Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Goodman, Elizabeth (21 September 2006), "THE NOISETTES", Rolling Stone: (1009):24
  10. ^ Goodman, Elizabeth (24 August 2006), "Noisettes", Rolling Stone, (1007):93
  11. ^ Made up Love Song Wikipedia
  12. ^ "A choir of 23 renowned female artists join Annie on her new album". Retrieved 9 August 2007. 
  13. ^ "Jack Daniels Birthday Celebrations". Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  14. ^ Tuffrey, Laurie. "Chrome Hoof Set For LP Launch Shows". The Quietus. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfu". Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  16. ^ http://www.nextmodels.com/#/board/4/9/2359/photos

External links[edit]