Before being featured on Top 40 radio and onstage with Taylor Swift, Alessia Cara started out being forced by her mom to sing all the time. Born Alessia Caracciolo on July 11, 1996, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, she is of Southern Italian descent. Her childhood consisted of performing arts from the start, and she wrote poetry and did theater. At age ten, she began playing guitar and taught herself how to play various songs. At the age of thirteen, she began a Youtube channel where she posted videos of herself singing covers of popular songs.
At the age of sixteen, she uploaded a cover of The Neighborhood’s “Sweater Weather.” It basically went viral and landed her a message from an A&R rep from Def Jam Records. She decided not to go straight to college after graduating from high school; she wanted to spend a year focusing on her music.
During this year, she was paired with a winning team of hit-making songwriters and producers. It was during this time that she penned the hit wallflower anthem, “Here”, which she released as a single in May 2015. From here, her music career slowly gained speed. At only eighteen, her singing style is referred to as blue-eyed soul, and her musical style has been compared to that of Farrah Franklin, Adina Howard, and Norah Jones.
MTV called her debut “Here” the song for everyone who secretly hates parties. Spin Magazine called it a “can’t miss” track, Cosmopolitan called it “must-hear track”, and the song was included on Billboard’s “20 Pop Songs You Need For Your Summer Playlist” in June 2015.
Cara made her television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she performed “Here”. Her debut album followed the earlier release of her EP, Four Pink Walls, and was entitled Know It All, which was released on November 13, 2015.
The second single off her album Know It All, entitled “Wild Things”, was released on October 27, 2015. The album itself debuted at #9 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. During Taylor Swift’s final Tampa stop of her 1989 World Tour, Alessia Cara was one of the night’s surprise guests and joined Taylor on stage for a duet of “Here”. Backstage, Taylor interviewed Alessia for an exclusive interview for Yahoo! Music Talk about a dream come true.
One thing is for certain: Alessia Cara has both the vocal and songwriting talent to take her far enough. She’s definitely a star on the rise, and one you should keep an eye and ear out for.
By Chelsea DeVries