Shingai Shoniwa

Shingai Shoniwa

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Shingai Shoniwa

Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa[1] ( /a/ 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.[2][3]

Early life

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.[4] 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 Im trying to make my own soundtrack to my escape plan. I want people to realise that theres so much more.[5]

She first wanted to be an actress, and for a while joined the Lost Vagueness crew as a burlesque performer.[4][6][7] She studied circus skills at a London youth club as a teenager.[4] 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."[8] One day she joined him singing, and the two quickly formed a group called the Noisettes.[8]

Music career

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."[9] In her stage persona, Shoniwa looks like what the New Yorker called "an African supermodel",[4] and she frequently performs in bare feet while wearing face paint or fur hats on stage.[4]

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".[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

Other endeavours

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.[14]

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.[15]

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


  • Bass guitar: Fender
  • Amp: Ashdown

Solo discography

  • 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)


  1. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers: Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa, ASCAP, 20 May 2009. URL accessed on 20 May 2009.
  2. Shingai perseverance. Retrieved on 9 August 2007.
  3. Annie's Song Was A Joy - The Daily Record
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Frere-Jones, Sasha (16 April 2007), "THE SHONIWA SHOW". New Yorker. 83 (8):24
  5. Growing up music experiences. Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  6. Shingai first wanted to be an actress. Retrieved on 26 April 2007.
  7. Co-creator of the infamous Golden Egg. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Goodman, Elizabeth (21 September 2006), "THE NOISETTES", Rolling Stone: (1009):24
  9. Goodman, Elizabeth (24 August 2006), "Noisettes", Rolling Stone, (1007):93
  10. Made up Love Song Wikipedia
  11. A choir of 23 renowned female artists join Annie on her new album. Retrieved on 9 August 2007.
  12. Jack Daniels Birthday Celebrations. Retrieved on 10 August 2007.
  13. Tuffrey, Laurie. Chrome Hoof Set For LP Launch Shows. The Quietus. Retrieved on 8 October 2013.
  14. Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfu. Retrieved on 17 August 2007.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Shingai Shoniwa Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Shingai Shoniwa

  • Official Noisettes site
  • Official Noisettes site (Non-flash)
  • Noisettes at MySpace
  • Shingai Shoniwa at MusicBrainz
  • Shingai Shoniwa at Discogs
  • Shingai Shoniwa interview with PopMatters
  • Shingai beauty tips
  • Shingai: CQ's favourite girls
  • Icon Spotting: Shingai Shoniwa of Noisettes
  • Shingai Shoniwa at the Internet Movie Database
This page was last modified 30.11.2013 02:41:47

This article uses material from the article Shingai Shoniwa from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.