Alysha Brilla comes to the Dream Café in Penticton on Nov. 26.

Alysha Brilla comes to the Dream Café in Penticton on Nov. 26.

Alysha Brilla coming to Penticton’s Dream Café

Alysha Brilla is no stranger to mixing music and politics.

Alysha Brilla is no stranger to mixing music and politics.

“At first they were separate because I didn’t see much social justice talk in music when I was growing up. Bob Marley was the closest thing,” Brilla said.

Read more: Dream Café hosting new series of concerts

The Indo-Tanzanian-Canadian singer/songwriter grew up in a mixed household, a Christian mother and Muslim father, which piqued her insight into the debates that ensued.

“As a kid, I’d hear them talking or debating about certain things, maybe values or religions, and I had to be critically analyzing, is one of them right or wrong? Or, maybe there’s merit in both of their viewpoints,” Brilla said.

Her father, who immigrated from Tanzania, was the inspiration for her song Immigrant, touching on a topic which came front and centre in the U.S. presidential election.

“I think if people actually realized Europeans were only here in the last couple hundred years, who came here on their own journeys, they would be able to see that complaining about immigrants has no basis in logic at all,” Brilla said. “It kind of erases indigenous people as well, when someone like Donald Trump or whoever is putting white Americans or white Canadians at the forefront, it totally discounts the fact that indigenous people were here.”

It was her mother’s macabre and twisted humourous takes on old church songs which turned her interest to music.

“My mom’s interest in the English language and being funny made me interested in music too,” Brilla said.

Brilla just released her third album this summer, Human.

She said the themes are more esoteric on Human and the album is steeped in the influence of a trip to Tanzania and India in 2015, exploring her father’s homeland.

“That’s when I wrote all the songs for this album. It was really amazing to go there, so that’s where all these songs were written. So they have all those influences too, you’ll hear some sitar, and you’ll hear the tavla, the drum. It’s got that eclectic vibe, but it’s certainly drawn from those sources,” Brilla said.

Brilla, who hails from Kitchener, Ont., just directed a short film there as well. The film is entitled Supporting Indigenous Students, exploring how post-secondary institutions can better accommodate indigenous students.

“Music is my main thing, but any time there is an opportunity for me to use my body or my voice to stand up for what I think is right and socially just I try and do that,” Brilla said.

Brilla has recently visited   Kelowna schools for two weeks performing and engaging in discussions with youth.

Brilla’s lyrics often explore empowerment, equality and social justice, a message she hopes to pass on to youth.

“The students are really cool. I would say there’s a portion of the students who have heard about social justice and intersectionality and equality, or they’ve had these critical discussions with their parents,” Brilla said. “They’ve had this discourse, but a lot of them have not and this might be the first time someone is coming in and addressing it and talking about it.”

She discusses themes of anti-bullying and embracing diversity with students after a musical performance.

Brilla comes to the Dream Café Nov. 26. Tickets are $25, or $59 which includes a ticket and a three-course dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m.

For more information visit


Just Posted

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read