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Noisettes singer Shingai debuts solo album 'Too Bold'

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Zimbabwean-British singer releases her first full-length album, a searing compilation addressing darker themes. "I'm trying to graduate from sneaking conscious messages into friendly, sexy music," she said.

Zimbabwean-British singer Shingai Shoniwa had her first real taste of fame in 2009 when indie soul band Noisettes released their sophomore album, "Wild Young Hearts," propelling the group into the mainstream with UK top 10 hits, magazine covers and festival appearances from Coachella to Glastonbury.

Her new album "Too Bold" was released this week and, aptly for the first full length release, its title echoes her name (in Shona, a Bantu language, Shingai means "be bold, be brave, have courage").

"This record is about using melodic harmony to find balance across all of my cultural reference points," she said.

Shoniwa's first album has been a long time coming.

Touching on dub, garage and synth pop as well as mbira-fueled chimurenga (a popular music genre associated with Zimbabwe's fight for independence), the songs were an uplifting rallying cry to the African diaspora to embrace their culture and connect to home.

"My family have lived through (war)," she said.

Fittingly, the song opens with a field recording Shoniwa made in 2011 on a trip back to her grandmother's village in Malawi.

"We are at this crazy point in time in humanity so it's silly to pretend that it's not affecting everybody, but music is there to give a sense of hope and remind people of this cultural diversity we all have," she said.

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