We talk to Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes about her Zimbabwean influences and her new album, which is split in two parts—one out now and the other in autumn.
You might know Shingai Shoniwa better as the lead singer of platinum selling UK-based indie rock band, The Noisettes. With hits from the previous two decades such as "Don't Upset The Rhythm" and "Never Forget You," the band went on an indefinite hiatus to concentrate on solo material, which hits closer to home. In Shingai's case, it's literal. Sitting with her for over an hour via a Zoom call from home in South London, she talked with pride over
Let's talk about the very beginning of your solo project. Why did you choose to go for a Zimbabwean sound with your solo stuff rather than with The Noisettes?
Well the cool thing about that, which Noisettes fans have appreciated is that for me, my most cherished musical and creative collaborator is actually Dan, my guitarist in the band! Him and I wrote most of the songs together on this new project. And we understand each other's musical tastes and what really excites us. For me it's always been about rhythm. Obviously I'm the bass player in the band and I grew up with a lot of rhythmic bass like African music or popm that was inspired by Southern African music as it's an important part of my musicality. So with Ancient Futures, Dan actually co-wrote and co-produced one of the songs on the EP with me called Revolutions. As for Dan, he hasn't so much been holding my hand, but more so being super supportive every step of the way and he just cosmically understands how quickly I can evolve creatively. With The Noisettes, it was really important for us to pause after album number three so that we could really dive in to our other musical personalities that maybe wouldn't have been necessarily right for the band or record.