Shingai Shoniwa and David Okumu
Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes) and acclaimed singer-songwriter/guitarist/producer David Okumu are coming together to create a new vocal work. Inspired by their shared African heritage and working with David’s band The Invisible, they will perform with vocal groups and choirs, crossing cultures and responding to the youthful energy of the Commonwealth.
“It is a great honour to be part of this Commonwealth-inspired project. I'm also thrilled, at long last, to be working with Dave Okumu on what will no doubt be a memorable sonic adventure. I hope that we can touch the hearts of people with the music we create, enriching the experience.” Shingai Shoniwa
“Collaborating with Shingai on a new composition is something I have dreamt of doing for some time now. We both share a breadth of cultural references and interests and a belief in music which reaches out to broad audiences beyond the confines of convention. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to explore the possibilities of making something unique and meaningful.” David Okumu
“Serious is thrilled to be part of the New Music Biennial and to be working with Shingai Shoniwa and David Okumu. For Serious, this is a chance to work again with two artists that we admire hugely and to produce a large scale participatory performance that has become such a hallmark of our work in recent years.” Serious
About Shingai Shoniwa
With a career that has stretched over eight years, a string of hits already under her belt and a fashion following that could rival Grace Jones, Shingai Shoniwa needs no introduction. Best known as one half of Noisettes, whose hits include Don’t Upset The Rhythm which stormed into the No. 2 spot in the UK charts and Never Forget You.
“We always go that extra mile to give the crowd a night they’ll never forget,” says Shoniwa. No wonder Noisettes were named “best live band in Britain” by the Guardian in 2012.
Shingai has collaborated with songwriters including Guy Chambers and Will.i.am’s co-writer Jean Paul Baptise.
In 2012 the Noisettes were a highlight of the Africa Stage at BT River of Music, when they collaborated with Grace and Madalo Million from the Jacaranda Orphanage in Malawi, who they had first met at the Lake of Stars festival. Shingai has participated in Africa Express and her own Zimbabwean heritage is important to her own music-making.
2013 is already looking set to become another epic year for the band. They have played at the BAFTA’s After Party and in Westminster Abbey as part of the Commonwealth Day service.
Born in Vienna to Kenyan parents and ultimately settling in London via Edinburgh and Paris, Dave grew up surrounded by music enthusiasts. Mixtapes from siblings and friends would sow the seeds for dynamic and diverse creative expression taking the forms of songwriter, producer and performing musician.
Best known for fronting his critically acclaimed band The Invisible, whose eponymous debut was nominated for a Mercury Prize (2009) and was also selected by iTunes UK editorial team as 'iTunes Album Of The Year', he has also collaborated, performed or recorded with numerous artists including Amy Winehouse, St Vincent, Jane Birkin, Sara Creative Partners, Brigitte Fontaine, Theo Parrish, Tony Allen, King Sunny Ade, Omar, Matthew Herbert, Dani Siciliano, Toddla T, Bilal, Jack De Johnette, and Anna Calvi.
In 2010 Dave met Jessie Ware and the pair began to write and record her debut album 'Devotion' - named after the opening track which Dave co-wrote. 'Devotion' lead to Dave's second Mercury nod, but this time as producer and co-writer.
Dave continues to work with a number of artists as producer and/or writer, including current projects with VV Brown, Lulu James and Grace Jones. David will be performing with Yoko Ono at Meltdown. Dave has his own studio at The Laundry, London Fields.
Producer of live jazz, international & contemporary music, Serious aims to inspire and innovate with everything it does. Artists and creative process are at the heart of every project. Serious creates and produces a diverse range of concerts, tours and special events, working with artists and partners from the UK and internationally.
Due to unfortunate circumstances the performance of 'Stars Align' was not recorded by Radio 3, therefore we are unable to release it on NMC.