The last time a musician made a significant and quick splash in the music industry, all eyes were on Pickering, Ont.-native Shawn Mendes, who has become one of the world’s top selling artists in just over a year. Now history is repeating itself as Canadian singer Alessia Cara has stepped into the spotlight thanks to her hit single, “Here.” Overflowing with confidence and wisdom, her soulful voice is effortlessly carrying the wallflower anthem to the top of the charts. Recently, the 19-year-old from Brampton, Ont., was handpicked by Jimmy Fallon to perform with The Roots on The Tonight Show, and celebrities like Taylor Swift and Ryan Seacrest have also taken notice.
Here, Hello! breaks down all the details about the rising star and why she needs to be the next addition to your music library.
She was born Alessia Caracciolo on July 11, 1996.
After finishing high school in Brampton, Alessia took a year off to devote all her time to music. Before she knew it she'd landed a record deal with Def Jam.
Alessia started to grow her fan base by posting covers of songs on YouTube. She injected hits like Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Amy Winehouse’s cover of “Valerie” with her own personal flair.
Her performance at Bestival in Toronto this past June was her first time at a music festival. She also revealed on YouTube that she has only ever attended one concert in her life, that of fellow Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
She caught the attention of Taylor Swift after performing the singer’s hit song “Bad Blood” on BBC Radio 1’s Piano Sessions. After watching the video, Taylor tweeted, “You're AMAZING, @alessiacara. Love this!”
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 8, 2015
The song “Here” is based on a true story, says Alessia, adding, “It’s a party song, but really it’s the complete opposite of a party song. It’s absolutely me; it shouts out the person in the corner of the party, looking around uncomfortably. I feel like this song narrates what the wallflower is thinking.”
Top music publications like Pitchfork, Complex and Spin magazine have crowned her the next big thing in music. She also has found fans in Shawn Mendes, Tove Lo and Lorde.
The “Here” music video has already racked up nearly three million views on VEVO since its release two months ago.
Her debut five-song EP, Four Pink Walls, will be released on Aug 28.