- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 02 December 2015
- Written by JULIA BURKE | STAFF WRITER
Alessia Cara, 19-year-old singer-songwriter, got her start in the music world by posting acoustic Youtube covers of popular songs from her bedroom floor in Brampton, Canada. She was discovered by Taylor Swift after covering “Bad Blood” and Swift tweeted at her, impressed by her cover. Having 66 million Twitter followers, Swift’s tweet helped bring attention to and propel Alessia’s single, “Here,” to No.1 on Billboard and Twitter emerging artists chart, according to billboard.com.
On Nov. 13, Alessia released her debut album, Know-It-All. Her voice is dominant, soulful, and captivating throughout the album. Many of the ideas present in the songs were relatable to me because I’m the same age as Alessia and this really captured my attention. Since Alessia contributed to the songwriting, the album is so real and personal, giving it an individual touch; she describes experiences I have been through myself, in a different perspective, making it fascinating.
The first track is “Seventeen,” and it’s an ideal opening to Know-It-All because it sets the mood for the rest of the album; it’s an invigorating song where Alessia celebrates and embraces her youthfulness. She discusses how, as a young girl, she’s always yearned to grow up, but now that she’s older, she wishes she could, “freeze the time at seventeen.” It’s a fun, upbeat song and symbolizes Alessia’s freshness in the music career.
The music throughout the album is distinctly pop and most of the songs made me want to bop my head along to the beat and just dance. The song “Overdose” is dominated by drums and clapping, which work because they coincide with the intensity of the metaphor of love being compared to an overdose. There are also ballads that are solely Alessia’s breathtaking voice accompanied by the piano or acoustic guitar, which are beautiful as well. “Stars” is a piano ballad which is just so pretty and serene and contrasts with the desperation and sadness in the song, “Cause I’ve been laying here, learning what memories can’t do.”
Not only does the album include songs that are energetic, harmonic, and stripped down, but the lyrics in the songs are so meaningful and vivid as well. Listening to the songs made me envision exactly what Alessia was describing, like she was painting stories inside of my head. Some lyrics that were illustrative were from “Four Pink Walls”: “I grew up memorizing all the cracks in the walls, staring up at the ceiling watching particles fall”; and from ”River of Tears”: “Still got the flowers that you sent and the note you wrote that said that we’re meant to be forever, I still keep them all as evidence in a drawer under the mirror filled with empty promises.”
“Here” is the most well-known song on the album and is usually on the radio. The song is a shoutout to anyone who has ever been at a party and didn’t enjoy themselves; it’s unique because it isn’t like the typical songs that talk about how fun a party was. It stands out but also is relatable, because most people have experienced this before but it’s usually deemed as weird to not have a good time at a party. But Alessia doesn’t care what people think; she is honest in “Here” and is once again very descriptive with lyrics like, “And I’m standing by the TV with my beanie low.”
Some songs have simple life lessons that are inspirational; Alessia promotes the idea of loving yourself and it’s empowering for girls, especially. “Scars to Your Beautiful” portrays a girl that is hard on herself and doesn’t see her beauty, but Alessia ensures that she, “should know she’s beautiful just the way [she] is.” Additionally, in “Wild Things,” it seemsas though Alessia is speaking to her fellow females again, and she insists that it’s okay to be your own person and to embrace it; she urges, “find your grace, don’t hide your face, and let it shine, shine, shine.” These are such powerful messages and are especially important coming from a famous singer-songwriter who is a role model for many girls.
Alessia is just beginning her career in the music industry and she is already thriving. She is extremely talented and down-to-earth and I know she’s going to go very far. I’m thrilled that I discovered her while she’s still emerging because I’m excited to see her grow and succeed. I recommend listening to her album and also watching her Youtube videos where it all started, because they are simply amazing and a vital part of her story.
IMAGE FROM musictimes.com