1 September 1981|
London, England 
|Genres||Post-punk revival, indie rock, soul, blues|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, Musician, Actress|
|Instruments||Vocals, bass, guitar, cello|
|Labels||Universal, Motown, Vertigo|
|Associated acts||Noisettes, Chrome Hoof, Sonarfly|
Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa (// shing-GHY; born on 1 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 bold/courageous/strong" in the Shona language.
Shoniwa was born and grew up in South London. Her parents are both Zimbabweans who migrated to the United Kingdom. Her father, a politician, died when she was 11, leaving her to a single mother who remarried a Cambridge University medical student from Zimbabwe. That experience, Shoniwa says, 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." Shoniwa has a twin sister, TV presenter and media executive Shorai Shoniwa.
She first wanted to be an actress, and for a while joined the Lost Vagueness crew as a burlesque performer. She studied circus skills at a London youth club as a teenager. 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. One day she joined him singing, and the two quickly formed a group called the Noisettes.
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." In her stage persona, Shoniwa looks like what the New Yorker called "an African supermodel", and she frequently performs in bare feet while wearing face paint or fur hats on stage.
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". 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.
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.
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 the latter's song "Holiday".
Shoniwa is credited for vocals of Dennis Ferrer's "Hey Hey" dance/house track, released in 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".
- Herbert songs: "I Miss You", "The Audience", "It's Only", "A Reprise", "Leave Me Now", "Misprints", "Chromoshop" (2000–2003)
- Ace songs: "No Fear Of Falling" and "Phoenix" from the album Still Hungry (2003)
- Toob songs: "Inky" and "Beaulieu" from the album How To Spell Toob (2005)
- Guillemots songs: "Made-Up Lovesong 43" from their album, Through the Windowpane (2006) and "Over the Stairs" from their From the Cliffs EP (2006)
- Annie Lennox single: "Sing" from the album Songs of Mass Destruction (2008)
- Plugs singles: "That Number", "Imaginary Friends" (2008)
- Dennis Ferrer: "Hey Hey" (2010)
- [dead link]
- "American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers: Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa". ASCAP. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Shingai perseverance". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
-  Archived 5 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Growing up music experiences". Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
- Frere-Jones, Sasha (16 April 2007), "THE SHONIWA SHOW". New Yorker. 83 (8):24.
- "Shingai first wanted to be an actress". Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- Fletcher, Alex (20 April 2009). "Shingai from Noisettes chats about burlesque, 'Don't Upset The Rhythm' and playing guitar with a loaf of bread". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- Goodman, Elizabeth (21 September 2006), "THE NOISETTES", Rolling Stone (1009):24
- Goodman, Elizabeth (24 August 2006), "Noisettes", Rolling Stone (1007):93
- "A choir of 23 renowned female artists join Annie on her new album". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
- "Jack Daniels Birthday Celebrations". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- Tuffrey, Laurie (26 September 2013). "Chrome Hoof Set For LP Launch Shows". The Quietus. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfu". Retrieved 17 August 2007.
- "Next / New York". Nextmodels.com. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
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