There must be something in the water over in Canada because over the past few years we have seen some of music’s most talented and celebrated new artists emerge from the country. Joining the likes of Drake, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber and PARTYNEXTDOOR, as one of Canada’s next great musical export is Alessia Cara.
At 19 years old, Alessia Cara has already made a modest impression on the charts both here in the UK as well as worldwide with her debut single ‘Here’. The song received critical acclaim for its frank lyrical content about being alienated at a friend’s party and wanting to be anywhere but here. The song was a sleeper hit charting at number 28 in the UK Singles Chart as well as reaching number 19 in her native Canada. It also made it on numerous ‘songs of 2015’ end of year lists. Not bad for someone who got their start singing covers on YouTube.
But who is Alessia Cara? And why should you care about her? Here are my 5 reasons why Alessia Cara should be on your radar;
1. Alessia came 2nd in BBC’s Sound of 2016 Poll
Every year the BBC like shine a light on new and exciting talent who they think will be big in the coming year. Lady GaGa and Sam Smith have been featured on the BBC poll in previous years and have gone on to experience incredible success. Alessia came 2nd being beaten to the top spot by Jack Garratt. BBC Radio 1 DJ Hue Stephens called Alessia ,”A young songwriter who sounds completely at home bearing her soul on record and making honesty sound so natural“. And just to put things into perspective, in 2009 when Lady GaGa was featured on the list she came in at number 6.. I think its safe to say she’s done alright for herself since then.
2. She does pretty amazing covers of other people’s songs
Like I mentioned earlier, Alessia got herself discovered by posting videos on YouTube of her covering other artist’s songs. Her big moment came when she covered The Nighbourhood’s ‘Sweater Weather‘. But since being signed, she hasn’t stopped covering some of her peer’s songs and making them sound like her own. Take a listen below;
3. Alessia isn’t afraid to speak out against the injustice some acts face in the music industry
Being new to the industry many would expect Alessia Cara, especially at 19 years old, to sit there and be quiet and do as she told for fear of rocking the boat. We’ve all heard the story before of artists new to the industry being coerced into doing something or censored for wanting to speak their mind.But lucky for Alessia she isn’t at a stage in her career where what she speaks out about can have a detrimental impact to her career, which is why it was so great to see her take to Twitter to publicly speak out against the current situation Kesha is facing with her label and Dr Luke.
4. She is just so effortlessly cool
Being 19 years old Alessia Cara is a millennial in every sense of the word. She used the Internet to get herself discovered and has since become a voice for the teenagers of her generation. Especially with her debut single ‘Here’ becoming an unofficial anthem for all introvert, social awkward loners who just don’t fit into the cliques we are expected to fit into while growing up. Not content on being seen in expensive dresses and styled to death, Alessia’s image is that of any 19 year old girl -camouflage bottoms, oversized hoodies, big frizzy hair. She credits her label Def Jam for allowing her to just be her.
She also sings with an essence of not taking herself seriously to the point where some may think ‘does she even want to be a singer?’ But its that lack of awareness that makes her so interesting in that she sings and carries herself in a way where she doesn’t try to be cool rather than wanting so badly to be seen as cool. Its the same way the All Saints carried themselves when they first started out in the 90s.
5. Her debut album ‘Know It All’ is fantastic
Alessia’s debut album, Know It All, was received with generally positive reviews with All Music commenting on the level of potential seen in her debut suggesting that she is more than capable in maintaining the creativity of her music without much assistance. Billboard said “As first impressions go, Know-It-All is a charismatic balance between dreams and reality that makes its author stick out in the most impressive way“. In an interview with Hot97 Alessia said she had already created half of the album and was signed by Def Jam off of what they heard from it. She described the album as, “its me more looking at my life from the outside..from the mind of a teenage girl and my thoughts and views on the world- things about life, things about self acceptance. The story of an 18 year old girl and what would be going through her head at the time.”