Artist Spotlight: Alessia Cara

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. She rose to fame in early 2015 with the release of her song “Here,” and has continued to stay relevant with both her EP and her debut album, along with subsequent singles off of said album. Her latest track, “Scars To Your Beautiful,” is hovering at the top of the charts, making sure Cara’s name will continue to be heard.

One thing you might not know about the Ontario native is that she actually goes by a stage name; her full name is Alessia Caracciolo. She started to learn how to play guitar and sing at around the age of 10. In February 2011, Cara started her own YouTube channel, using “Price Tag” by Jessie J, featuring B.o.B., as her first cover song. It was then that her journey to stardom began.

Cara didn’t start turning heads until she posted a cover of The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” back in May 2013. The video currently has 2.4 million views on YouTube and more than 90,000 likes. After that cover, Cara started gaining a big following, and eventually, two years later, she was picked up by Def Jam Recordings—notable for big names like Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Desiigner—in 2015.

In April of that same year, Cara released her debut single “Here,” which was met with critical acclaim. An anti-party anthem for the introverts of the world, “Here” is lyric-heavy with a chill R&B vibe. The song blasted Cara into the spotlight; it was featured in both Billboard’s “20 Songs You Need For Your Summer Playlist” and Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Songs of 2015.” She then went on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for her television debut to perform the song. “Here” peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100. “Here” is still, personally, my favorite song that Cara has released; it’s definitely one of the best songs of 2015.

In November 2015, Cara released her debut album titled “Know-It-All” around the time “Wild Things” was released as a single. With the flames of “Here” still burning, “Wild Things” had average success, but only reached No. 50 on Billboard’s Hot 100. In April 2016, Cara was named as a guest performer on Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams Tour.

One of the biggest moments for Cara during 2016 was probably her participation in the most recent installment in the Disney franchise, “Moana.” Cara took the reigns and sang the pop version of the movie’s main anthem, “How Far I’ll Go,” analogous to “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” The song is still currently charting on Billboard’s Hot 100, peaking at No. 56.

Most recently, Cara appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last week, performing her third and latest single, “Scars To Your Beautiful,” which is now Cara’s second Top 10 hit in addition to “Here,” and another song from her album “River Of Tears.”

Alessia Cara has one of the best personalities I’ve seen. She was a normal girl on YouTube before she became a prominent figure in the music industry, but that down-to-earth persona carries on even into her life in the spotlight. Just by watching some of her old videos and newer interviews, Cara hasn’t changed much; she’s still a quirky 20-year-old who’s just making music and having fun. She seems exactly like the person you’d want to be friends with—I know I would. Just brace yourselves, because Alessia Cara is on her way up.

Spotlight Song: “Here”


Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.