When some 17-year-olds go to a party, they’re thrilled if it’s an environment where drinks are flowing, hookups are happening and parents have no idea any of it is going on. But not Alessia Cara.
One night in 2013, Cara attended a party she found to be a less than thrilling experience: Undesired boys hit on her while others puked from drinking too much, all under a cloud of marijuana smoke while crappy music blared over the speakers. Rather than trying to find the fun in the night, the teenage Cara left early and wrote a hit song about it the next day.
While Cara certainly didn’t expect the horrible night to have such glorious results (this party happened to take place the night before her very first writing session as a still unsigned musician), the story behind “Here” proves that she’s an artist who doesn’t stick to the societal norms and shows a wisdom beyond her age. This is part of why she’s Billboard Women in Music’s “Rule Breaker” for 2016, taking pop music by storm with “Here,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as landing three other singles on the chart this year alone.
It’s hard to deny that “Here,” “Scars To Your Beautiful” and “Wild Things” are catchy tunes, but there’s a lot more to the 20-year-old than her hits. Get a deeper appreciation for Cara’s music with five songs from her debut album Know-It-All you should know below.
Apparently while Cara’s high school peers were throwing terrible parties, she was already indulging deep feeling about taking life for granted. And even if you never wished to “freeze the time” at age 17, there’s something irresistible about that “ohh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” hook.
As her Women in Music award indicates, Cara has established herself with a definitive independent attitude. But even the toughest of girls will have a soft spot for that person who makes their heart flutter, as Cara revealed in her gushiest track on her LP. Though she did still manage to allude to her relentlessness, singing, “How rude of you/ To ruin my miserable/ And tell me I’m beautiful.”
Throwing a big-band feel into her otherwise R&B-infused pop album, Cara masterfully masks the lovey-dovey vibe of this song’s lyrics (“Tell me you love me again/ I would waste away without you”) with a catchy beat that makes you simply want to sway with your partner in crime.
“Stone (feat. Sebastian Kole)”
Teaming up with Know-It-All producer Sebastian Kole on this downtempo track, “Stone” provides Cara the chance to let her guard down and really show off how vocally gifted she is.
Despite the fact that Know-It-All is Cara’s first album, she closed out the deluxe version of the LP with a song that declares she’s going to be around for a long time — perpetuating her “Rule Breaker” status in eloquent fashion.
BONUS TRACK: “Remember Home,” with Sebastian Kole from his album SOUP
Clearly these two make one hell of a team. After producing Cara’s album, Kole enlisted her for a track on his own record, on which she offers her smooth vocals with soulful harmonies.
Women In Music airs Dec. 12 on Lifetime.