Mordechai Shapiro is a New York-based singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Formerly a soloist with the Miami Boys Choir, he is among the most popular voices on the Jewish music scene. His melodies are joined to poetic, poignant, and uplifting lyrics by prominent Jewish lyricists including Baruch Levine and Elie Schwab. They are wed to danceable 21st century pop melodies and beats as evidenced on Shapiro's 2016 debut album, Kol Haderech. With his good looks, disciplined yet easy tenor delivery, and focus on delivering positivity in his songs, Shapiro's appeal became irresistible in the U.S. and Israel. His videos for songs such as 2017's "Machar" and 2019's "Hakol Mishamayim" (co-written with Miriam Israeli and the title track of his third album), have racked up millions of views for their insightful and uplifting narratives.
Shapiro was born in Monsey, New York, the youngest of seven children in a modern Hasidic home. His father and mother are both singers. His father was a bus driver and occasional cantor for a local shul; his mother was a professionally trained opera singer who gave it up to pursue a more spiritual path. All of his siblings sang, too. At the age of eight, he joined the Miami Boys Choir and toured the world. His older brother was also a soloist in the choir and immediately preceded Shapiro in the role. After his voice changed, he took a break professionally. He played basketball and other sports. After growing into his adult voice, he wanted to pursue singing professionally and undertook professional training. (One of his teachers was William Riley, who also taught Celine Dion and Josh Groban.) At 20, he married Rachel and began signing at parties and bar mitzvahs. At 21, as parents to two daughters, they moved to Israel and stayed for three years. Shapiro's music career proved difficult to establish, so he took whatever jobs were available to support his family. He worked in other jobs and re-established himself as a singer at birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, engagements, and as a one-man band. Taking a leap of faith, he gave up the keyboard in order to become a professional wedding singer.
He self-produced the video for "Schar Mitzvah," which went viral in the Jewish community. It led to his independently released 2016 debut album, Kol Haderech, with a focus on releasing accessible, well-produced videos. 2017's Machar was led by a self-composed single of the same title. Its message of resilience, and not giving up before the miracle happens, earned him his first big hit in the Jewish music market. It charted internationally and its video rang up more than three million views. The album sold extremely well and buoyed his career as a wedding singer and global touring artist. In 2019, he issued the video single "Friends," a humorous documentary that featured his sky diving trip with star vlogger Meir Kay. It was followed by "Hakol Mishamayim," the lead track for a 15-track namesake album. The full-length landed well inside the Top Ten on the Jewish music charts. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi