Sonya Lorelle's title track on her first album was coined by a stranger at a gas station who noticed her filling up her truck with a U-Haul attached. After she confirmed that she was indeed moving "by herself," he said in an impressed tone, "oh?! An 'Independent Woman'!" She soulfully delivers this debut collection of bluesy songs in an acoustic project that is raw and organic with just her golden voice and piano to back it up. Lorelle soon decided to take her style, described to be an upbeat version of Norah Jones and Carol King, on the road. She gave up her career, lease on her apartment, priced her belongings, and began touring.
During these travels she began writing a second set of songs to appear on her sophomore CD, "The Life You Wanted." Highlights include "Lost So Long" a light basso nova song inspired by her experience of being lost on the streets of Paris and Dublin. "Kiss Me Tonight" is a flirty jazz number about an impending first kiss. She takes her strong woman themes present in "Independent Woman" further into this album with a distinctive mixture of Jazz, Blues, and Pop.
After taking a break from writing and recording to earn earn her PhD in Counselor Education, she returned to the studio to release her third album "Easy to Love." This album continued her "Tales of Heartache, Romance, & Revenge."
Over the next several years, she continued to be inspired by travel, love, and loss. She continued to balance life as a professor with her creative side, penning a new set of songs for her next album, "Into the Wild". (https://ffm.to/oeoxr5y) Her fourth album is a haunting and lyrical ten song compilation that takes listeners on a journey through the complex spaces that grief and loss can evoke, drawing on Sonya's personal experiences to create a relatable and compelling musical narrative.
Recorded in Nashville, "Into the Wild's" blend of bluesy, jazzy ballads and upbeat tracks showcases Lorelle's signature piano-based sound. Lorelle unveiled her first single, "Surrender,” a composition that delves into the vulnerability experienced in the face of impending loss. The introspective lyrics illuminate the facets of love's battle, capturing the essence of a moment where uncertainty looms and the foundation feels unstable. "Surrender" paints a vivid picture of awareness and anticipation, encapsulating the delicate balance between potential devastation and the flicker of hope that a truce can be called, if only we can remember what we are fighting for.
Beyond her music career, Sonya Lorelle is a counseling professor and grief researcher, dedicated to exploring the depths of human resilience in the face of loss. Alongside her colleague, Sonya has developed the Transcending Model of Grief and Loss, an innovative approach that emphasizes the integration of loss into one's life story. "Into the Wild" is a powerful and emotionally charged album that resonates deeply with anyone who has experienced loss.
- 1st Place Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Contest 2023
- 2nd Place Enormous Records Songwriting Contest
- Honor Award Great American Songwriting Competition
- Finalist Plowshares Songwriting Contest
- Honorable Mention songprize.com International Songwriting Contest
- The Bitter End, New York NY
- South Florida Folk Festival, Main Stage, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Uncommon Ground, Chicago, IL
- Cousin Andy's Coffee House Concert Series, Carbondale, IL
- The Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC
- Six String Cafe, Cary, NC
- Wisconsin Public Radio Show, Higher Ground, Madison, WI
- Showcasing Artist at the Midwest Entertainment Industry Conference, Lexington, KY (Independent Woman' chosen for the compilation CD)
Interviews and Reviews
"Sonya could sing mathematical equations and it would sound fantastic. It feels good to listen to her sing. Strong. Clear. Seductive at times...Her songs are at times torchy and at others melancholy and sad."