Office — Let’s talk about Europe. Was that your first time?
Alessia Cara — Yes, it was! I’ve been to Italy before but never Milan. It was so beautiful.
O — What’s been your favorite place so far?
AC — I think Paris and Milan were my favorites. I got to spend the weekend in Paris so I saw a lot of the city. It was so magical.
O — You’ve come such a long way in such a short amount of time. You were doing theater and music in high school and then started doing your YouTube videos right? What prompted that?
AC — I was doing YouTube and theater simultaneously. I was really shy growing up and I used those things to help get me out of my shell. I wanted people to hear me sing but I needed to ease myself into it slowly or else I wouldn’t have been able to.
O — How did the kids at school respond to your videos? Were they watching?
AC — At first no one really knew but after a while people started finding out and watching them. It was nice—they mostly gave me compliments.
O — What was the first one you ever put up?
AC — “Price Tag” by Jessie J on a rusty old guitar. It’s pretty bad—not gonna lie.
O — Were you writing songs back then or were you just doing covers?
AC — Just covers. I was always writing in a journal or making some sort of poem or story but I would discourage myself when it came to writing music. I was always scared to.
O — Did you grow up with music? Were your parents particularly into it?
AC — I did, but it definitely wasn’t something extremely prominent in our house. My parents listened to music but no one in my house was a musician or anything.
O — What would they have playing?
AC — A lot of Beatles, Elvis, Queen, and contemporary Italian music.
O — Who did you look up to the most growing up? Is there a musician whose career you hope to emulate?
AC — Amy Winehouse. I love everything about her and her music. It was honest and so wise in a way. I hope to emulate the way she captivated people. Someone like Ed Sheeran, too, because he can also leave an audience in awe with no help. That’s something to admire.
O — Now that it’s summer, are all of your high school friends coming back from college?
AC — Yes, but I never see them because I’m always traveling, which kinda sucks.