The Catharsis in Creating: After Nyne Meets Alysha Brilla

Alysha Brilla is fast becoming one of the most acclaimed new comers out of Canada, this year the singer is set to make her UK debut with Two Shots.

Two Shots is a self-produced track that tells the classic story of heartbreak accompanied with Brilla’s signature Root-Soul musicianship.

Over the past couple of years Alysha’s music has received nothing but praise, claiming titles such as the 2015 UK Songwriter Contest Winner & Anokhi Music Award, not to mention a host of Juno nominations (The Canadian Brits). Brilla’s music has also been featured on major network television shows including King & Degrassi; The Next Generation.

A practicing yogi, Alysha’s work extends beyond her music and late last year she launched Womyn a branded philosophy that encapsulates the singers artistry and ideology. “WOMYN is feminist. It is progressive. It is strong and it is meaningful. In my view, our world needs feminist womyn, men and non-gendered peoples to take a stand on behalf of ‘women’s rights’.  I caught up with the multi-talented musician for a brief talk about her current inspirations and the roots of her artistry/

Hey Alysha, it’s great to have you on After Nyne.
Thanks for having me!
Music has played a significant role in your life and family from birth. Where you did you find the encouragement to pursue music as a career?

I believe the encouragement came from just loving music so much… not feeling able to express myself very readily through other mediums at the time. I’m grateful that my mom was super supportive from a young age.
 How does personal history work its way into your practice?

My songs are all personal. They all narrate something that either went on in my life or in my head. So…if I involve myself interpersonally with another human and they impact me in some way, chances are, I will write about that feeling.

Who are your biggest influences creatively? From music and beyond. 

Amy Winehouse. Musically and beyond. A lot of Jazz and Afro-Beat music. I’m inspired heavily by anyone who speaks bravely, who stands out and fights for social justice.

Do you recall the first song you ever wrote?

Yes! It was called “You’re Late” and I was seven years old. It was about my best friend who (before cell phones), didn’t adequately update me on her whereabouts when we were supposed to meet up. …Gripping, I know!

You also self-produce a lot of your music. Which comes first, the words or the sound?

Usually, the sound and rhythm come first and the lyrics follow. However, if I think I’ve thought something extremely clever, or I hear someone else say something I think lyric-worthy, the lyrics will come first.

How would you describe your subject matter or the content of your music? Do you ever write with the audience in mind?

The only song I’ve ever written with the audience in mind was “Womyn”. I was imagining it being anthemic and encouraging to women everywhere.

As a keen practicer of yoga, how important for you is the cultural/creative cross over between spirituality and music?

It’s very important. It’s not so easy to discern between the two for me. I believe music communicates in a deeply spiritual way and I hope the same catharsis I experience creating and performing it, people feel listening and dancing to it.

What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?

Currently fascinated by trans U.K. journalist Paris Lees. She is really poignant, funny and as a songwriter, I draw from all kinds of writers. I’m a big fan of hers and hope to meet her next time I cross the pond!