In a live show at Yoshi’s on Sunday, Sept. 8, artist Deja Bryson let everyone know exactly who she was, belting out her original songs “Move Along” and “Just a Woman,” classic ballads like SWV’s “So Weak” and even Aretha Franklin’s soulful “Ain’t No Way.”
Special guest DejuanLove opened her performance with his smooth vocals and also performed a duet with the singer towards the end of the show.
Benefitting the Lend-A-Hand Foundation and women empowerment group Ladies in Red, Bryson’s performance was raw and honest as she “rocked out” on stage. Singing an acapella rendition of a Sarah Vaughn classic, Bryson didn’t miss a beat as she skatted through the song to a roaring applause from the crowd.
Her lyrics to “Just a Woman” were emotional and clear, singing about love and a woman’s vulnerability in relationships. “The only religion is love,” the singer said to a full audience as she took them on a journey through her relationships, her dreams, and her deep feelings for music.
Growing up in a Christian family, Bryson said she once went through a phase where she resented religion.
“I read a bunch of spirituality books, learning about Hinduism and Buddhism, and I started to see that it’s all built on the same thing,” she said. “It’s OK to have one specific way of doing things but not to the point where it makes you say that one religion is wrong.”
Relating the concept of religion to the state of violence erupting in the city of Oakland, Bryson said love is connected to a resolution.
“I feel like our generation, we’re at a place where we are very scared, so we’re violent or we’re reckless,” said Bryson. “I think people don’t really have an honest foundation for their morals and their values. It’s all been kind of taught with this brainwashed version of religion.”
“I think if we could start loving each other and have more love in our music, more love on TV, I think [the violence] will mellow out,” she said.
For her new project, “Love Sounds,” the singer said she is excited about just being herself, having fun with the art and looks forward to more live productions. For more information, visit www.iloveyoudeja.com.