Friday, 22 March 2013

Experience BRILLiAnce

When a good friend of mine invited me to see a singer I had no idea what to expect. She refused to give me any clues as to what I would witness. What I found was a true diamond in the sky.
My friend Mary, had attended an open air concert by Esperanza Spalding at the TD Jazz Festival and happened to be sitting next to a young lady. They struck up a conversation and soon the young lady had to leave because she was a singer herself and was off to her own gig.  Before leaving she left my friend with her contact information.  

Not long after that, my friend decided to check her out live at the Resevoir Lounge and was moved by her incredible vocal ability.

I saw her at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, a small bar on The Esplanade, a chic, tiny stretch of bars in the core of Toronto.

Alysha "Brilla" Brillinger took to the stage at 10 pm sharp, strumming her guitar, and accompanied by Sam Dlugokecki on the cajón. She opened her set with the Jackson 5's I Want You Back.
I was immediately taken by Brilla's playful open handed guitar  strumming which made every song sound fun. Her stunning, soulful voice channeled Amy Winehouse.

What ensued was a serious of cover songs with Brilla's own originals distributed through the night. Her originals were as good, if not better than anything she covered, and what she covered ran the gamut from the aforementioned Amy Winehouse (Valerie) , to Bob Marley (Stir it Up) to Jessie J (Money).

Throughout the night she was joined by guests, Mark who laid down a rendition of Let's Get it On that was so good you know Marvin was smiling down it. Djembe by Garima Harvey added to Sam D's drumming. Brilla reminded the audience that percussion was the first sound we heard in the womb as a fetus hearing our mother's heartbeat.

During her third and final set of the night Brilla wss joined by a musician that she drew a lot of inspiration from, her father, Yasin Dewji. He stood at the back of the stage playing bass guitar.

The night climaxed with a packed dance floor grooving to Brilla's anthemic Lifted. What a great night. Brilla has a weekly residency at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club and I was already looking forward to the next Thursday night I could make it down there and if you have the opportunity, you should go check her out too!

Experience BRILLiAnce here: