Settled in unconscious control, Shorai’s voice is sometimes seductive, sometimes tough, sometimes playful. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Minneapolis, Shorai has been singing in front of audiences for as long as she can remember. She is a regular at The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis and maintains an active performance schedule year round. A classically trained pianist, she began exploring the world of jazz the moment her father put Ella Fitzgerald’s version of Mercer’s “The Midnight Sun” on the record player. Along with her unique jazz interpretations, she has achieved national recognition for lending her voice to many television commercials, most notably Target’s inaugural “Hello Goodbye” campaign, as well as major motion pictures and various TV series. Her latest full-length recording project finds her teaming up with national luminary, Tommy Barbarella. 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 12 intimate tunes. A stripped down solo piano and voice recording, Shorai chose songs that examine both the struggle of the human condition, and the deliverance only music can promise. The recordings are vulnerable and rich, free from modern studio wizardry and distracting arrangements.
"The Twin Cities jazz scene's best kept secret" The Dakota Jazz Club
"Sophia Shorai with Tommy Barbarella, "Long as You're Living." There's a charming girlish innocence and coquettish soulfulness to this young singer's rendering of jazz standards on this organic session with Prince's piano man." Jon Bream, Star Tribune
"Long As You’re Living should bring new appreciation of the multi-talented Tommy Barbarella and serve as a significant boost to the evolving career of Sophia Shorai. Individually their talents are well represented here, and together, they’re magic. " Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
"After several years of impressing older peers with an immaculate voice that belies her age, Sophia Shorai finally put one of those admirers to work with results that should impress fans of Norah Jones and Karrin Allyson alike. The blonde jazz crooner, 27, paired up with Prince & the NPG keyboardist Tommy Barbarella for an impromptu one-day session last winter that resulted in her second jazz CD, "Long as You're Living." With only Barbarella's soulful playing for accompaniment -- you could also call this his first solo piano disc -- Shorai churns out bittersweet versions of "In the Wee Small Hours," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and 10 other standards/covers." Chris Reimenschnieder, Star Tribune
"It’s an impressive first outing, and is worthy of a highest recommendation." Doug Boynton, GirlSingers.org
"Sophia Shorai has one of the sweetest voices. Inara George or Kylie Minogue might be able to compete (and Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays), but not many others could hit that perfectly girlish, almost childish tone that could easily sound cloying and mushy but doesn't. The jazz-pop singer was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Minneapolis. Relatively unknown outside of the jazz community, Shorai's music has actually been featured on a bunch of commercials, television shows and films." Annie D'Souza, MetroMix
"I like Shorai's voice a lot. It's very pretty, sometimes little-girl, sometimes breathy, sometimes tough, reminiscent of Stacey Kent but not derivative. She sings a nice mix of standards, opening with "It Could Happen to You," a challenging tune with big intervals that probably should come later in a set. "Love Is the Saddest Thing" follows with lots of swing and jazzy phrasing...There's been buzz about Sophia Shorai for some time. I think I heard Leigh Kamman rave about her a while back on his radio show The Jazz Image, and Tanner Taylor wants to record with her, and she's versatile, singing jazz standards and pop tunes and Latin classics. She made a Target commercial singing the Beatles' "Hello Goodbye," which I remember hearing." Pamela Espeland, Jazz Police