We once again have to thank YouTube for ushering in a new young Pop songstress.
For many, Alessia Cara’s YouTube covers of Lorde, Drake, and the late great Amy Winehouse were a first glimpse into the teen’s ability to deliver soft caressing melodies in the simplest way possible; a guitar, a well-earned quiet place (usually the closet in her room or the bathroom), and her black guitar. This was before the same videos earned Alessia the attention of EP Entertainment, before her collaboration with Sebastian Kole (Motown/EP Entertainment songwriter, associated with hits from Flo Rida and Jennifer Lopez) allowed her to introduce us to the inner thoughts of an introverted teen, before this journey earned her a contract with Def Jam Records, and definitely before she got the blessing of fellow Canadian artist, Drake. Alessia Cara’s EP Four Pink Walls is the world’s first introduction into the mind of a young budding pop star finding her place in the world and demanding her space in the music industry as not only a beautiful voice, but a young soul with a message. The EP is short, to the point, and showcases a clear idea of who this 19 year old girl from suburbs of Brampton (just outside Toronto, Canada) is and could be.
“Seventeen”, the intro track, introduces us to a reflective Alessia Cara looking back on when she was 17 and was sure that she had everything figured out. It’s a song about growth and the advice that has allowed her to grow into the 19 year old preparing to release her first album with Def Jam.
“Here“, track number 2, has earned Alessia radio play and commercial success as her first single with Def Jam. Some have referred to Cara as the “Antisocial Pessimist” due to this song that depicts a party she is clearly over and wishes to immediately vacate. She perfectly paints a picture of what it’s like to not enjoy the crazy alcohol and weed filled parties and prefer environments that are more intimate and chill. And by the songs success, she is not alone in this sentiment. She showcases her writing style best here. At first glance her ability to rhyme and use of alliteration might be assumed to be a deep influence from hip-hop, but it is more than likely a gift transferred from her history writing poetry.
“I’m Yours” is a feel good pop record about unsolicited love. We find a cautious Alessia Cara giving her heart to a lover who has slowly earned her affection. The honesty of her reluctance in the verses makes the chorus “Baby I’m yours” seems like such a victory for the lucky winner of her heart.
The unmistakable ghost of Amy Winehouse can be found hovering over Cara as she croons through tracks like “Outlaws” and Four Pink Walls. Alessia takes you on the run with her in “Outlaws” over a modern version reincarnation of a track that seems to come straight from the Motown golden age catalog.
Four Pink Walls enters with laced Alessia harmonies and immediately cuts to a smooth hip-hop beat. The lyrics give us a glimpse into what life was like for Alessia pre-stardom. She describes her childhood and the trapped feeling she used to feel, dreaming of making it with music. Then the sky opens up as she begins to describe her new life as the world begins to fall in love with her talent.
Coming off the success of her new EP, Alessia Cara is now preparing her debut album entitled, Know It All. Once again, Alessia teams up with Sebastian Kole (who is listed as a co-producer and co-writer on the project), but she also brings along production from Malay (Frank Ocean) and Pop & Oak (Nicki Minaj, Usher). The project is slated for a fall release and if its anything like her EP she’s set for an impressive career.