Getting To Know Alessia Cara, Music's New Anti-Hero

15 October 2015, 16:54 | Updated: 31 December 2019, 11:10

alessia cara

By Alim Kheraj

We interviewed the girl making introverts cool again.

Every year a new artist comes along that piques the world's interest and gets everyone from the music blogs to your parents nattering about how totally brilliant they are. 

Now, 2015 has hardly been short on these stars, but one that, for us anyways, showcases the future of music better than any is Canadian 19-year-old Alessia Cara. 

This is her right here.


A photo posted by ALESSIA CARA (@alessiasmusic) onAug 17, 2015 at 2:20am PDT

Hi Alessia! 

Raised in Brampton, Ontario, Alessia signed a deal with Columbia records at 18 years old, releasing her debut single, "Here", earlier this year. 

The track taps into a new voice, one that relishes the outsider and introvert while, ironically, being totally relatable to almost anyone. The song's lyrics string along like a stream of consciousness, with Alessia lamenting her distaste for the 'party' that she's attending.

In fact, "Here" might just be the most important song you listen to all year.

Effortlessly cool, "Here" marks a new breed of a self-assure teenager who is secure in the 'right now' while still maintaining their youth. 

Obvs not wanting to miss out, we caught up with Alessia when she was in London and here's what we learned about her...

Alessia is a HUGE fan of Amy Winehouse. 

Alessia: "Her songwriting is so honest and unfiltered that you can't help love it. She feels what she sings and is so unapologetically herself. Every artist's goal is to be completely honest, so when you see someone who has done that and who was so successful it's a great thing to reference. 

"Also, I think her voice and the way she sang on stage was effortless. Sound just poured out of her and you see her gaze into this distance and she doesn't think twice about it. IT shows that you should be yourself and be natural and to let whatever needs to come out come out."


pretty sure I'd make the same face if I met her in real life

A photo posted by ALESSIA CARA (@alessiasmusic) onSep 8, 2015 at 6:34am PDT

She hasn't had the time to process all the madness that is going on in her life.

Alessia: "It's a crazy thing and you just can't prepare yourself for what's about to happen and everyday is, like, a new opportunity. That sounded really cheesy! I don't know why I said that. That was like something out of a commercial. It's just so hard to get my head around, so I don't know how I'm handling it because it doesn't feel real." 

But does she find time to be a normal teenager and sit around watching TV and eating chips?

Alessia: "I really try to find that time to be normal. Look, my life was so normal before; overly normal before. Now that it's not in an instant, it's difficult to adjust so I always try to pace myself and keep my normal life." 

She made her start on YouTube singing covers, which she LOVES. 

Alessia: "I like taking the song, maybe one that you wouldn't expect from me, and changing it so much until it's something different. Especially taking hip hop songs and singing in the rap part, making a song a ballad or making a slow song faster. I like changing it up and seeing what I could do with them if they were mine."

Taling of YouTube, she's pretty into one specific YouTuber.

Alessia: "My favourite YouTuber, and podcaster, is Jenna Marbles. Her and Julian's vlogs are the best, their videos are awesome and their podcasts are just so like...There's just so much insight. They're really educated podcasts, which I really enjoy.

Like for any artist, social media has become a scary place...

Alessia: "All the time it's like "mom", "queen", "bae", "love you". I'll just post a random tweet and all the comments are like "adopt me", "I love you", "slay". I would see people do that for other artists and it seemed so foreign to me and now all of a sudden I have fan accounts and people are getting excited that I tweet them. It's such a strange thing because it's just me. I just sing songs, that's all I do. And, I'm not that interesting." 

Because she's a total rebel, she leaked her own EP, Four Pink Walls, before its release.

Alessia: "I'm just really spontaneous, even than I was a couple years ago. I'm growing into my personality and I'm really figuring out who I am. I think who I am is a very spontaneous person, which is surprising to me. But I like that. I like doing fun things. I'm not a complete introvert or a complete loner, as "Here" would have you assume.

"In that situation, the one in "Here", I am an introvert. I don't know how to socialise like that. I'm not an outgoing person in that sense. But I think in other ways I am. When you hear my other music hopefully you'll be able to tell." 

Alessia seriously believes in the concept of the album, thank you very much.

Alessia: "I always want my albums to be bodies of work rather than 10 singles that don't match. You can't just put a whole bunch of songs together, put a title on it and call it an album. It should have a concept, it should have a flowing thing, you know?"For her expressing 'truth' is the most important thing an artist can do.

She also thinks that 'truth' is HELLA important.

Alessia: "With my music, in order for me to feel really passionate about it and to be proud of it is to make it something that's me and about what I'm going through. And if it's not something I'm going through then it's something someone else is going through that I know or a message that I want to get across. It just has to be honest and true to me. Obviously I wouldn't sing about something that doesn't make sense to me and I don't think, really, any artist really would."

Finally, she'd sum up her debut EP with these five emojis.

Alessia Cara Emojis

Alessia Cara's Four Pink Walls is available now. She plays a live show at London's Dingwalls on 3 November.