Alessia Cara

Singer Alessia Cara
Photo: © UMusic CC BY-SA 4.0

The last time a musician made a significant and quick splash in the music industry; all eyes were on Canadian native Shawn Mendes who became one of the world’s top selling artists in just over a year. Now we have co-patriot who is also making waves. She is Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara who has been named as the runner-up in the BBC’s Sound of 2016, which puts her in a new league of young and upcoming singers for this year.

With just one album to her credit, the Toronto teenager started off by uploading cover versions to YouTube, where she was spotted by a talent scout and encouraged to write her own material. Like Justin Bieber, she hit the jackpot and as they say, the rest is history.

Alessia Caracciolo, known as Alessia Cara to the world, was born in Mississauga, Ontario Canada, but later moved to Brampton, Ontario, where not a lot happens in the neighborhood. With very few kids to play with, Alessia spent a large amount of time inside the confines of her house. Her mother is an Italian immigrant from Calabria, while her father was born in Canada. Alessia is fluent in Italian and attended Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School in Brampton. She has three siblings, Dario, Dante and Danica.

As a child, she wrote poetry and did theatre. Besides this she was convinced she wanted to be a visual artist. While spending time indoors, she would paint, draw and make crafts. When she was about four years old she had trouble falling asleep, so someone suggested to her mum to give her a CD player. Her mother would play her random Italian songs, and with that Alessia would fall asleep. Later, the first album she ever bought was the Black Eyed Peas’ Monkey Business.

With so much music happening, anyone would feel that she came from a musical family. Well, not really. 90% of her family members are hairdressers, and the other 10% are construction workers.

At the age of 10, she begged her parents to get her a guitar and took a few lessons after which she taught herself how to play by learning various songs. She learned the piano by ear and then the ukulele later on. At 13, she began her own YouTube channel where she posted covers of songs that she performed. She injected hits like Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors, Sam Smith’s Stay With Me and Amy Winehouse’s Valerie with her own personal flair.

Alessia’s singing style has been compared to singers such as Dido, Norah Jones, Lorde and the like. Her sound has both R&B and jazz influences, but more than that it would have to be called modern soul. Her voice has freshness and a versatility that very few have. Overflowing with confidence and wisdom, her soulful voice is the kind you have heard very little of.

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Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of

Verus Ferreira

Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of