Name, where are you from?
Shingai, born and raised in London. With heritage from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.
Describe your style in three words?
Fun, audacious and evolving.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Grace Jones at the Roundhouse sticks out as one of my favourite shows. When I go to gigs, I like to be totally immersed in the experience that the artist creates and it’s less of a social thing. I went to this gig with a group of friends, however, I got into the gig so much that I lost my phone, bag and friends. When they gave up looking for me, they realised that she had roped me on stage. It was surreal and sublime to be on stage next to her, as Grace hula-hooped her way through 'Slave To The Rhythm'.
If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Jimi Hendrix, because he’s the godfather. He changed the game and took guitar playing to a whole new level. And rock'n'roll as we know it wouldn’t be the same without him. Little Simz because she's so innovative and approaches her shows with a similar level of musicianship that anyone in a band would.
Which Subcultures have influenced you?
With the speed of the internet, it can often sometimes shorten the life span of those underground scenes. If I had a favourite era of subcultures, I could identify with, it would be Sound System Cultures, in terms of London. Particularly in the '70s, '80s and '90s. I find it really fascinating how people use to follow their favourite Sound Systems. When they would have Sound Clashes and people would follow the Systems, in a similar fashion to the way people follow their favourite DJs now. You had to follow the sound and not experience it in isolation i.e. through a laptop or phone. Those movements had the chance to grow organically through word of mouth. Each dance had to be better than the last one.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Whitney Houston, as her music was not just about songs for her. It was about faith and the spiritual upliftment, she brought to the musical landscape at that time. She also had a wicked sense of humour too.
She dedicated herself entirely to her craft and for that, she will always be remembered and for that reason, her legacy will always continue to inspire me.
Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
I love the Roundhouse because my performance is quite theatrical, and I like to be able to connect with the audience. The sound at the Roundhouse is amazing and doing shows in the round, means you’ve got no restrictions of movement and encourages the audience to move around too. The Albany Theatre, Deptford is a smaller version of the Roundhouse and seeing a show there feels like you’re in some cosmic mothership.
Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Myriam Makeba. She stayed true to her art and used her achievements to uplift her people and others around the world, even when her activism threatened to derail her career. She made huge sacrifices to leave something beautiful in a world that often misunderstood her and had treated her unkindly.
Shingai gained recognition and acclaim as the vocalist and bassist with The Noisettes, as well as other projects including guest vocal performances with the like of Chrome Hoof and on Dennis Ferrer's 'Hey Hey'.
Her latest output sees Shingai explore a new direction as a solo artist, with her single, 'Coming Home' taken from her upcoming EP 'Ancient Futures'.