The group Shai was formed by students at Howard University in Washington D.C. Three of its members, Marc Gay, Carl Martin and Darnell Van Rensalier were members of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha and the fourth was a good friend of theirs, Garfield A. Bright.

Shai decided that they wanted to try and turn their hobby into a career, so they moved to New York, New York. Unfortunately, Shai had difficulty finding a record deal until they decided to try their bets on a radio contest hosted by WPGC. The group performed 'If I Ever Fall In Love' written by member Carl Martin and won the contest. The track received heavy airplay and the group was signed to Gasoline Alley.

Shai released their debut album, If I Ever Fall in Love, in 1992 and it was a big success going two times platinum. The title track was the first single and it reached number 2 on the charts. The follow up singles 'Comforter' and 'Baby I'm Yours' both peaked at number 10.

Trying to chase the success of their debut album, Shai released an album of remixes in 1993 called Right Back At Cha. However, the album had disappointing sales.

In 1995, Shai released their second album of new material Blackface.

Carl Martin left the group before Shai released their third album Destiny, in 1999. The album was received with scathing reviews and is ignored by many fans.

In 2004, the group released their fourth album Back From The Mystery System. They were once again a quartet, with Eric Willis taking Martin's former position. The group has yet to repeat the success they had on their first album.