Artist Spotlight: Alessia Cara
By Spike Brendle
Nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter Alessia Cara has already made her mark on music, without even releasing an album. Her EP, Four Pink Walls was released on August 28, however she has already accomplished what all new artists dream of: extensive touring, music festivals, and even being hand-picked by Jimmy Fallon to play on The Tonight Show. Her brand of R&B-Pop is infectious, and her stage presence and performance reflect that in the best way possible. I was able to sneak some of her time before her set at Life is Beautiful, and she was just as nice and super sweet as I was hoping!
SPIKE: Can you tell us a little about your background as far as getting into playing and writing music?
ALESSIA: Singing wise, I don’t really remember a time where it just “happened,” I was just always doing it! As far as playing music, I got my first guitar when I was ten but didn’t start taking lessons until around twelve. I didn’t start writing music until about two years ago, when we started working on the album. I had always written short stories and poetry, but never turned it into music until then. So, I’m still pretty new to it, I guess!
SPIKE: At what time did you realize that this was going to be a huge turning point in your life?
ALESSIA: I guess, I realized that when I slowly stopped going home. (laughs) You kind of get it when you stop going home that, this isn’t just a thing and more things keep happening and it doesn’t stop. This is becoming my career, this is my job. It’s what I do now!
SPIKE: Is this your first major festival performance?
ALESSIA: This isn’t my first festival, but I think this is definitely the biggest. It’s huge! So far I’ve been able to play at Midtown Festival, Squamish Valley Music Festival, Bestival, and I’ll be playing Austin City Limits in October.
SPIKE: How did you find out that you were requested to play on The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon himself?
ALESSIA: Oh my gosh, it was crazy. It was after my show, I just got off stage and I was almost in tears because I thought my performance was so bad. I was in my dressing room and was like “I did so bad, this is horrible!” My publicist came in and asked, “Why are you so mad? You just got Jimmy Fallon! He saw your song and sent his booking agent to the show tonight to see you. He has to have you!” Jimmy even made it a point to tell her that they HAVE to be the first TV show I do. My tears went away immediately and I was so happy! It was so amazing.
SPIKE: If you had the opportunity to collaborate with anyone… who would it be?
ALESSIA: I think I would choose either Amy Winehouse (RIP), Drake, or Ed Sheeran.
SPIKE: What have you been listening to lately?
ALESSIA: A lot of Troye Sivan; his EP came out recently and it’s so good! I listen to everything, that’s my problem! (I listen to) Drake’s new mixtape with Future, of course. Lately I’ve also been listening to a lot of kind of chill, electronic pop music, like very relaxing, like James Blake. I’m into that.
SPIKE: What in your life is beautiful?
ALESSIA: I think the beauty in my life is being able to travel a lot. Seeing the world is beautiful to me. Having people connect with my music, that’s beautiful. Laughing is beautiful! Being happy; that is all beautiful.