In Conversation With . . . Alysha Brillinger, Part II

?We are all artists in a way?every action, word, and song has an impact on the world, and we can design and craft that impact.?

Alysha Brillinger in an interview with Wanda Waterman

Alysha Brillinger is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She has crafted a unique personal musical style by combining blues and reggae to make funky, punchy, lovable tunes that express a sense of love, loss, and triumph. She recently finished the Tower of Song Tour, shared with Kristen Bussandri, in which she performed at venues in Montreal and Toronto. Alysha has just released her debut EP and is now at work on a full-length record. Read Part I of her interview here.

Feeding the Muse

Alysha’s upbringing exposed her to a wide spectrum of popular musical genres, but she singles out a few as particularly relevant catalysts. One notable album is Led Zeppelin II by Led Zeppelin. ?I was given this CD by a neighbour in high school,? she says. ?It changed my life.?

She’s still seeking musical inspiration. On track for this week’s listening? ?Etta James, James Brown, Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Matisyahu.?

A big fan of Joni Mitchell, Alysha identifies with other female singer-songwriters and loves to hear their stories. Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller, a favourite book, ?profiles Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon and their journeys to becoming the prolific songwriters they are,? Alysha says.

How to Really Care

Alysha is well aware of the power of music to soothe the savage breast. ?I believe there’s an energy in music, so I try and keep my music honest and positive,? she says. ?I think the world could use some more of that.?

In spite of the very positive responses She’s been receiving from audiences and critics alike, Alysha remains modest: ?I’ve received several letters from people telling me that my song ?Better Soon? had helped them through a divorce or a serious bout of depression, and I was really caught off guard because until then I didn’t realize the potency of anything I’d created.?

It was gratifying to think that she was now able to provide listeners with the very benefits that music had long been granting to her. ?I’ve had songs that have gotten me through breakups and trying times, but never fully imagined my music could do the same for someone else,? Alysha says.

On Spirituality

Alysha grew up in a very secular household that wasn’t bound to any religious practices or beliefs. In her case this lad to an attraction to spirituality and to music’s mystical quality, and the songs she writes speak to our society’s need for gatherings, fellowship, and ritual.

?There wasn’t even an ounce of spirituality in my household, actually,? she says. ?I’ve always felt a connection to something higher, whether or not it has a name. In an increasingly secular society, I think music and concerts function as the societal and community gathering we would otherwise have had in a church. This is why the ritual of playing music for me is very spiritual and very cathartic.?

What’s Next?

Currently, Alysha’s producing a music video and has written a song that might be featured on the album of an NBC’s The Voice runner-up. She’s also geared up for more touring this fall and hopes to be doing shows in Halifax as well as the United Kingdom.

?CBC radio is playing my music,? Alysha says. ?I’m really happy that people have been hearing more of it across our amazing country!?

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