Alysha Brilla is an artist with an old soul, a new sound, and a voice as unique as it is impactful. The two-time JUNO-nominated artist brings her talents to Arts Whistler Live!, Friday, March 3 at the Arts Centre. As our world experiences some socio-political turmoil, Brilla’s thought provoking and socially conscious musical themes are just what the doctor ordered.
Alysha is a social activist at heart. Her music aims to unite people through the Canadian cultural kaleidoscope and bring light to social issues in Canada and abroad. While her music features strong themes of cultural diversity, gender equality, and inclusivity, it’s delivered with a pop-rock feel that is guaranteed to get the audience moving.
Currently on tour promoting her new album Human, we caught up with Alysha ahead of her Whistler show to talk about her music, inspiration, and what she hopes for the future of the world in these tough times.
Why is it important to you to showcase themes of diversity in your music?
“It’s important to me to showcase themes of diversity in my music because it’s such a large part of who I am. I grew up in a mixed-race, mix-religious household and have been deconstructing what ‘culture’ means since I was very young. Naturally, these themes come up in my lyrics and activism work as well.”
What most inspires you to create your music?
“People. Travel. Other music I love. I want to make music to lift people up and encourage them to make change in themselves and the world.”
What is the main message you want people to take away from your new album, Human?
“The main message I’d like people to take away is a message of strength. I am a woman singing about anti-oppression. Singing about someone literally putting up a wall and me climbing it like a cat. My favourite music is loving and political…and something you can dance or vibe to. I want people to know that this world traveller with a platform is speaking in favour of diversity and education. I have not lost hope and I hope to instill hope in listeners, too.”
With such a diverse background and a clear love of travel, where do you feel most at home?
“That’s a tough question! The last place I felt the most at home at was Cuba. I’m a lover of hot weather, many colours and, well, there are a lot of mixed folks there (obviously due to a colonial history), but it makes for feeling at home when you are mixed as well.”
With the socio-political atmosphere in its current state, what do you wish for the future?
“The socio-political atmosphere is in dire need of change. For the future, I wish that fundamental understandings of the effects of colonization, patriarchy, and inequities of all sorts are discussed in elementary schools; because children already know when something seems fair or not, but they don’t have the language to engage with adults in discussions about it. If we raised our youth to be cognizant of their social location (their race, gender, ability, etc.) and how that informs how easily they navigate society, or how much difficulty they face within our current socio-political state, that would be revolutionary. It’s important. As an artist and educator, I will continue to speak and sing about it. Everyone else should, too.”
Alysha’s new music draws from Indian and East African sounds with an eclectic and upbeat musical arrangement. Think Bob Marley meets Amy Winehouse. Yeah, she’s that good. The Indo-Tanzanian Canadian is receiving high praise across Canada for her unique roots-pop fusion musical style with her first single off of Human reaching number three on the CBC Radio charts.
We can expect big things from Alysha Brilla. She has written and produced all three of her albums (available on iTunes) and is backed by a team that has worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse and Adele. With powerful lyrics and diverse sounds, Alysha Brilla is a rising star not to be missed and a force of social activism to be reckoned with.
Come early for drinks in The Gallery, explore the new art exhibit, and enjoy live music from local musician, Will Ross.
March 3 | 19+
* Doors at 7pm – Live music with Will Ross and drinks in The Gallery
* Show at 8pm
CONNECT WITH ALYSHA BRILLA
ABOUT ALYSHA BRILLA:
Alysha Brilla, a two time JUNO nominated artist for Adult Contemporary Album of the year, is a critically acclaimed Tanzanian-Canadian musician who is known for her unique roots-pop fusion musical style. Brilla’s third full length album, Human, comes after two other albums released under Sunny Jam Records Inc., including In My Head, and Womyn. Over the past three years Brilla has had 230 media interviews including being featured on Canada AM, Global Morning, CHCH Morning Live, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star SUN Media, and CBC Fresh Air (to name a few). Brilla is currently on tour, performing in 14 Canadian cities. Her first album In My Head, was complete in 2013 and second album, Womyn was release in 2014, both being mastered by Tom Coyne, Grammy Award winner, working with artists such as Amy Winehouse and Adele. All three albums were wrote and produced by Brilla, and feature her eclectic musical arrangement of drums, bass, guitar, keys, sax, trumpet, and djembe. All three albums are available on iTunes, and select record stores across Canada. Brilla and her band, the Brilltones, were the only Canadian band/artist invited to perform at this year’s Midem Music Festival in Cannes, France, and recently featured at the Montreal International Jazz Festival performing songs off the new album. With powerful lyrics and diverse sounds, Brilla channels the distinctive lyrical talents of Bob Marley and the eclectic jazz notes of Amy Winehouse.
Author: Jillian van der Geest