Alysha Brilla

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Alysha Brilla
Background information
Born (1988-11-03) November 3, 1988 (age 29)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Origin Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s) Singer-Songwriter/Music Producer
Instruments Guitar, Piano, Drums
Labels Sunny Jam Records

Alysha Brilla is a thrice Juno nominated Canadian musician with Indo-Tanzanian and European roots. Born in Mississauga, Ontario and raised in Brampton, Ontario, Brilla started singing in her early teens in local bands and at various festivals. Brilla briefly attended Humber College's Jazz program in Toronto while playing local gigs and building a fanbase. In 2010, she was signed to Lava Records/Universal Republic.[1] Brilla was a featured performer at the 2010 Kitchener Blues Festival and Gala.[2] Alysha is now independent and runs her own music label, Sunny Jam Records Inc. and has released four self-produced studio albums on that label three of which have received JUNO nominations.

Early life[edit]

Brilla was born in Mississauga, Ontario to a European-Canadian mother and an Indo-Tanzanian father of Khoja#Migration to Africa the Khoja diaspora. Growing up in a mixed-race, mixed-religious household fostered interesting discussions around things like race, religion, value systems and ideals. Brilla’s father played guitar growing up in Tanzania and her mother was an avid storyteller. Brilla experienced a lot of bullying in middle school and she cites music and nature as her coping mechanism.

Teenage years[edit]

On her 14th birthday, Brilla was given her father's acoustic guitar and she began teaching herself to play.

After graduating high school, a brief stint at Humber College deepened her appreciation for jazz music. During this time, Brilla was recording and producing her own songs and released an eleven-song EP called "Got Soul". Friend Brad Marshall introduced Alysha to Jacksoul keyboardist and producer Ron Lopata and the two began to demo some of Brilla's original songs with a full band.



Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, Joni Mitchell, Indian & African Music


Brilla took a production co-op in high school and was accepted to Seneca College’s Production degree, but opted to study Jazz at Humber College. All of her releases have been self-produced. Brilla is outspoken about seeing more women in production.

Record Label[edit]

In 2010, Alysha Brilla signed a record deal with U.S. Label, "Lava/Universal Republic" Records. She moved to L.A. and began recording and collaborating with American producers Brian West, Rick Nowels, Sam Farrar and others. Due to creative differences, Brilla split with the label in 2012 and started her own record label, "Sunny Jam Records, Inc" and has released all of her albums on that imprint.


Brilla writes all of her own music and lyrics.


Brilla has practised yoga for several years. On her Facebook page she has stated that it makes her "so happy and has gotten (her) through so many difficult times". In November, 2014 Brilla travelled to Rishikesh, India where she studied and obtained her yoga teaching certification.


  • 2017 JUNO Award Nomination for "Rooted", Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
  • 2016 Winner Midem Artist Accelerator, represented Canada in Cannes, France[3]
  • 2015 International Songwriting Contest winner in Lyric Category "Immigrant"
  • 2015 JUNO Award Nomination for "Womyn", Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
  • 2014 U.K. Songwriting Contest winner in Pop and Singer/Songwriter categories for "Never Gonna Get Me Back" [4]
  • 2014 Oktoberfest Woman of The Year winner.
  • 2014 JUNO Award Nomination for "In My Head", Adult Contemporary Album of the Year [5]
  • 2014 Galaxy Rising Star Award Winner, Burlington Sound of Music Festival
  • 2013 Ibiza Music Video Festival Fan Choice Award Winner, "Nobody"
  • 2013 Speaker at Tedx Youth Waterloo - May 27
  • 2012 Leading Edge KW Arts Award Winner
  • 2010 Record Deal with Lava Records/Universal Republic
  • 2010 Host of "The Buzz", a weekly Indie artist showcase at Toronto's Historical C'est What Venue.[6]
  • 2008 Oktoberfest Woman of The Year nomination.
  • 2008 Canwest Media Rhythm of the Future Winner
  • 2008 Grande River Society's " Blues Youth Legacy " winner[7]
  • 2008 Toronto Blues Society's Annual Contest top 3, 2008.[8]
  • 2007 Youth Legacy Award Winner
  • 2005 Canwest Media's "Rhythm Of The Future" winner.
  • FACTOR (foundation to assist Canadian Talent on Record) grant recipient.
  • Publishing Deal with Cherry Lane Music. Brilla briefly attended Humber College's Jazz program in Toronto while playing local gigs and building a fanbase.[1]
  • Has opened for April Wine, K-OS, Lights, Snow and Adam Bailie.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album
2012 Brilla (EP) [9]
2013 In My Head [10]
2014 Womyn [11]
2016 Human [12]
2017 Rooted [13]



  1. ^ a b "Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. - New Signings for LAVA and Cherry Lane". 2010-06-14. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  2. ^ "Performers". Kitchener Blues Festival. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  3. ^ "Midem Finalists". 
  4. ^ "U.K. Song Writing Awards 2014 Winners". 
  5. ^ "2014 Juno Nominees & Winners". 
  6. ^ "The Buzzz hosted by Alysha Brilla". 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  7. ^ " - arts - Brilla wins Showcase award". Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  8. ^ "Press Release". Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  9. ^ "Brilla". iTunes. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "In My Head". iTunes. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Womyn". iTunes. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Human". iTunes. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Rooted". 

External links[edit]