Sheila Soares / All There Is
Release Date: March 1, 2019
All songs by Sheila Soares (MAPL/SOCAN)
Produced by Eric St-Laurent
Recorded at Number Nine Audio Group, Toronto ON
Sheila Soares would like to introduce herself.
The Toronto-based singer and songwriter, whose sound explores the connections between jazz, blues, soul and even folk, makes an indelible impression with All There Is, her first collection of original material. Produced by Eric St-Laurent—who also plays guitar on the album—All There Is captures Soares and her band in the studio on a particularly good day, a testament to the years of hard work that has led her to this point.
“I’ve been a musician as far back as I can remember—singing, playing piano,” she says. “But my parents always viewed music as an enrichment activity. And I think, as a woman of a certain time and place, there was a lot of pressure to follow a certain ‘safe’ path—career, marriage, kids, etc. But almost everything I pursued connected to music in some way, because it’s like breathing to me.”
That safe path took a dramatic turn for Soares in 2011 when she suffered a serious illness and had to temporarily step away from her career as a teacher. But she held on to the music, continuing to sing to get through the pain. From there, she took her first tentative steps into the Toronto jazz community, which would ultimately inspire Soares to adopt a serious regimen of music study and practice. Songs began flowing from there, and soon she was performing with some of the top players within the scene.
Upon reflection, she says, “Part of me wishes I could have made it here sooner in life, but like many things I’ve done over time, it wouldn’t have been the same version of me at those times. So, I’m grateful for everything that’s happening now and for the fact that there are no time limits in life to do anything. We have to keep trying. We’re only here once.”
And that, in essence, is all there is.