Cara’s grow­ing pains

Alessia Cara’s lat­est al­bum is all about com­ing out on top af­ter deal­ing with hard times.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Tv Guide - By MES­FIN FEKADU

ONE day Alessia Cara got a re­quest from a friend: Write a song about my breakup.

“He was like, ‘Lis­ten, I’m not a song­writer, I’m not good at writ­ing. Could you maybe one day ... write a song about some­body fall­ing out of love with you?’”

The con­cept had been in the back of Cara’s mind, and when she was in a stu­dio with­out a topic to write about it, she took a stab at her friend’s wish.

Ten min­utes later, she birthed Out Of Love, an airy, slow and per­son­ally deep song. She called the mak­ing of it “one of those weird cos­mic things that just hap­pened.”

“I played it for my friend and he got very emo­tional and he was like, ‘Thank you!’ And he ac­tu­ally got back to­gether with the girl af­ter that song. It’s a magic song.”

Cara said it was the first song she’s writ­ten from some­one else’s per­spec­tive. But she said it was easy to pull from her own ex­pe­ri­ences – and pain – to re­late to the song.

You’ll be able to hear about her pain – or “pains” – on her new al­bum, from her own breakup to learn­ing how to be happy alone to – sim­ply put – grow­ing up.

“I was 18 when I first started in the in­dus­try – it’s hard enough to fig­ure your­self out at that age, but then to fig­ure your­self out in front of many peo­ple with so many eyes on you and ears on you is very chal­leng­ing,” the 22-year-old said. “That was caus­ing a lot of strange dis­so­nance within my­self. It was mak­ing me just re­ally con­fused.”

Cara burst on the mu­sic scene in 2015 with the Top 5 hit, Here .She went on to launch more Top 10 suc­cesses with Scars To Your Beau­ti­ful, Stay with Zedd and 1-800-273-8255 along­side Logic and Khalid. Her de­but al­bum, Know-ItAll, achieved plat­inum sta­tus.

With all the success comes criticism, and Cara got her fair share of it. When she won the best new artiste Grammy ear­lier this year, some felt she didn’t de­serve to win over acts like SZA and Khalid. And even this week, the singer took a short break from so­cial me­dia af­ter she posted the nasty com­ments she has re­ceived from peo­ple on­line, in­clud­ing words like “ugly,” “fat” and oth­ers we won’t print here.

But she rose above the hate and re­turned to so­cial me­dia to cel­e­brate the re­lease of The Pains Of Grow­ing. The al­bum is all about com­ing out on top af­ter deal­ing with hard times.

“The sec­ond I wrote Grow­ing Pains,” she said of the al­bum’s open­ing track.

“I knew what the premise of the en­tire al­bum was go­ing to be. I think that’s be­cause, hon­estly, I was go­ing through a lot of dif­fer­ent feel­ings and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing many dif­fer­ent feel­ings, a lot of which had to do with some sort of pain. It sounds very dark but it’s the truth.”

“(It) was my way of find­ing silver lin­ing ... and re­mind­ing my­self that ev­ery type of pain is some­thing that we can grow from.”

Cara’s new al­bum ex­pands her sound even more than her de­but. You can’t put her mu­sic in a box if you tried: She goes from pos­i­tive pop to acous­tic singer-song­writer to R&B, some­times a cou­ple of those sounds in a sin­gle song.

She takes on an old-school, doowop style on Com­fort­able ;she ques­tions where we are in the world on 7 Days; and she makes a num­ber of pop cul­ture ref­er­ences on the al­bum, name-drop­ping the iconic se­ries Friends on Wher­ever I Live ,an­don Nin­tendo Game ,she ref­er­ences Zelda and sings: “And so we treat love like it’s a Nin­tendo game, but nobody wins.”

“I think peo­ple have la­belled me as this con­scious pop star who’s al­ways preach­ing about some­thing, which I think can be true ... but I don’t think that’s all I make. I’m not al­ways preach­ing to the choir,” she said. “I’m a ver­sa­tile per­son.”

Re­gard­less of how she’s been la­belled, her mu­sic has helped her build a strong fan base and she’s be­come a strong role model for young boys and girls, who of­ten thank Cara for her hon­est lyrics and pos­i­tiv­ity.

“It’s pretty baf­fling, in the best way, to know that your mu­sic has done that for some­body so per­son­ally and so di­rectly,” she said. – AP

— AP

Cara won the best new artiste Grammy Award ear­lier this year, but re­ceived a ton of back­lash over the win.

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