Bernhoft / Sun Rai
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Since releasing his sophomore album, Solidarity Breaks, in early 2011, Norwegian retro soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Bernhoft has thrilled crowds around the world with his stripped-down yet amped-up one-man-band act.
Largely on the strength of his looping-enhanced and wonder-inspiring live show, Bernhoft racked up 250,000 sales of Solidarity Breaks. He also earned more than 3 million views for "C'mon Talk," a beatbox-infused, acoustic guitar-laced single that Bernhoft performed during his 2011 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. To expand his sound on Solidarity Breaks, Bernhoft teamed up with multiplatinum-selling producer Fred Ball (Pleasure, Brett Anderson) and songwriting collaborators Ed Harcourt (Paloma Faith, Jamie Cullum) and Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Beverly Knight). The final touches by Steve Fitzmaurice (U2, Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue) were made to the mix of the album. With his irresistible of-the-moment approach to classic R&B and soul, Bernhoft also nabbed the Best Artist and Best Male Artist of the Year awards at the 2012 Spellemannprisen, which is equivalent to the Grammy Awards in Norway.
Sun Rai has been singing and playing piano since age four. Originally from Australia, Rai came to America to further pursue his music career. Inspired by performances by Prince and Donny Hathaway, Rai conveys a soulful groove as a one-man band by combining his piano skills and voice on a loop pedal.