Born in Bindura, Zimbabwe and raised by a musician-rich family in Minneapolis, Sophia Shorai cannot recall a time when she was not singing or performing. With deepest thanks to her parents, both lovers of jazz, Sophia began learning The Great American Songbook before she could even speak and has been finely tuning her musicality ever since. She began classical piano and voice lessons at age four, became involved in the Twin Cities theater community by the age of ten, and shortly thereafter regularly performed in church and school choirs. Today, after ten solid years of performing in music venues in and around the Midwest, Sophia has made her mark as a consummate genre-bending vocalist and musician.
Sophia Shorai and Tommy Barbarella’s new album Long As You’re Living is a 12 song collection of classic jazz and contemporary music recorded in one of the most simple arrangements possible: one piano and one voice. Long time mutual admirers, Shorai and Barbarella holed themselves up in a warm studio for a day in the middle of a brutal Minnesota winter storm and churned out an album of subtle yet stirring and unforgettable melodies that only first-class, seasoned artists can create. The song choices on Long As You’re Living were carefully chosen based on longstanding cultural and political themes such as the recession, advocating for peace and balance, love and personal triumphs. The result is fearless musical uniqueness, filled with sweet surprises. Audiences will find themselves captivated by a sound seemingly modest, yet a deeply emotional place in the hearts of the artists.