Planet Thirty

Episode 53: Shingai

January 5, 2021

This Episode is dedicated to my dear friend Alex Horsford whom the world lost tragically in 2016. We’ll always love you and we’ll never forget you bro. #AlexForever.

In 2009 I picked up a gig as a morning DJ at a radio station on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. My daily sidekick was Alex Horsford. Alex was a little over 10 years younger than I was. However he had an interest in photography, film.. really all things media. He was also the younger brother of one of my best friends. Alex had just finished high school and was awaiting answers from job applications. He decided to join me on air every morning. We had tons of fun and really added something new to the airwaves on the island.

On an island whose radio stations played primarily soca, calypso and reggae, we decided to cater to the persons who wanted something different in their mornings. We played soft rock, pop, zouk, groovy soca, commercial dancehall, 80s and pop music. Generally, I would pick the playlists. One day Alex told me that there was a song that he wanted me to play on air. This was a rare request from him. He said that a friend of his in the UK had introduced him to the song. We didn’t have the record, so I looked it up on youtube, ran the computer’s audio through the system and played it on air. The song was “Never forget you” by a group called the Noisettes.

I had never heard of the Noisettes. However, from the moment I discovered them, I indeed would never forget them. I was smitten. From that day we played that song over and over on air.

With Alex’s passing, the song came to mean even more to me. Over the years, I continued to follow the band’s lead singer, Shingai Shinowa, and her work. It was always a dream to interview her. I added her to my wish list for this podcast. I had no connections to her within my network. The likelihood of an interview was near zero. One night I took the chance. Why not I said to myself…. And so I began… Hello Shingai. I trust that this message greets you well…

To my surprise she responded directing me to the appropriate email address and even added that she was looking forward to my invitation for the interview. Needless to say, I was ecstatic!

Shingai Shinowa has a voice that you indeed can never forget. She was born and raised in London. Her parents are from Zimbabwe. She carries her family’s roots, culture and legacy boldly, proudly and most importantly unapologetically.

No matter what she has accomplished, she remains down to earth and as centered as ever. With undeniable talent, striking beauty and an incredible work ethic Shingai continues to win. She recently released her debut album, “Too Bold”. A wonderful collection of sounds that in my estimation encompass the many parts that make up Shingai and her extraordinary journey through life. I had the pleasure of speaking with her

This is the story… Thus far… Of Shingai Shoniwa.

 

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