The Next Star


By: Connor Lenahan

There’s a more than decent chance that you don’t know who Alessia Cara is. That really, really should not be the case. Why you ask? Because there’s a very good chance that she’s going to be a huge star within the next month.

I am behind on discovering this immense talent. This I must admit. Cara’s to-date-only single, “Here,” debuted back in May, yet it was only a mid-year list from Complex – who named the track the second best of the year so far, only trailing Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” – that turned me her way.

I have no issues calling “Here” the second best song of the year. Hell, I wouldn’t have a problem calling it the best either. Cara not only has the voice and the vocal confidence to stand out, but given her background it makes it all the more interesting.

Oh, I probably forgot to mention that Cara is also two years my junior. She only turned 19 on July 11th.

It would be unfair to limit Alessia Cara’s talent to simply being advanced for her age, however, in the interest of fairness that does matter. Beyonce and Taylor Swift are two of the biggest stars alive and they had to work quite a while to build the reputation that they have now. It’s not often that someone as young as Cara is shows the songwriting chops that she does on “Here” when she’d be graduating high school.

And that’s another point to consider. Cara isn’t being fed Max Martin penned radio hits to throw her hat into the ring. Cara is her own songwriter. This throws her into the same air as Lorde, Adele, and Fiona Apple. She holds her own mightily.

Now this is obviously a lot of praise to be giving to someone with one song and a lot of YouTube covers. I do not disagree with this. But “Here” is amazing in a way that many other songs aren’t. It’s a mature, lyrically slicing tale. She has a storyteller’s mind, and an advanced one at that. This is not a trait to forget. Early releases from The Weeknd and Frank Ocean brought along the same sort of praise.

I’m willing to go on record that “Here” is probably my favorite song of 2015 right now – all respects to the clear best album of the year Mr. Lamar. I can sympathize with her worldview – the reality of an ever-annoying party scene where one doesn’t feel welcome. Aside from personal connection to the subject matter, and to a lesser extent the fact Cara bares a striking resemblance to my girlfriend’s roommate Carolyn, I am completely sold on Alessia Cara.

She has an EP titled Four Pink Walls coming in late August. Without a clear release date on the horizon for Kanye West or Frank Ocean, Cara has me more captivated than anyone. You should be as well, because a new star is emerging.