Alessia Cara is wise beyond her years and her all-singing-all-dancing CV is testament to that. Since the 22-year-old Canadian burst onto the music scene in 2015, her hits including Stay, Scars to Your Beautiful and Here have littered our playlists and she’s picked up a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in January along the way. And, of course, she lent her vocals to the Disney hit, How Far I’ll Go for Moana.
As Alessia releases her second album, Growing Pains, which she pitches as “about growth and human experience”, she acts as your agony aunt, serving up all the empowering life advice you need. Watch the video above and get the full advice below. Prepare to be empowered...
What advice would you give someone who is scared of growing up?
That’s tough because I'm also afraid of growing up. But I would say it’s important to be present and live in the moment because I think that elongates your life and your youth. If you are present, I think stay youthful and young by doing things that make you happy. Not letting go of your youth that quickly, don’t try to grow up so fast, don’t worry so much about not having things figured out because a lot of the time people who are grown up don’t have it figured out either.
How do you remind yourself you’re worth it?
Just do little things to take care of yourself because if you’re telling yourself you are worth it, then that’s all that matters - who cares what other people say. You should tell yourself you’re worth it because you are. Do little things that make you happy, whether it's moisturising your skin, or look at yourself in the mirror and mentally tell yourself, ‘I’m beautiful, I’m good enough and I’m going to enjoy my day!’. Write yourself little post-it notes. Those tiny things make a lot of difference.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever been given? And what would you say to someone who doubts they’ll ever achieve their goals?
My parents always taught me to take one day at a time because I tend to worry about the future. Focus on what you’re doing today. That’s really helpful. Also, happiness comes from within you and people can only affect your mood and your circumstance can only affect you as much as you let it. You can’t always change the circumstance, but you can change your perspective.
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Now for some love life advice - I need to win back someone I ghosted, how do I subtly zombie them?
Oh great. I’m a master at that! You can send them the text like, 'Wassup, you up?' No, I’m just kidding! I would say if you ghosted them for no reason or you were a little bit harsh then I would apologise and say, "Listen, I wasn’t ready. I ghosted you for this reason." Then you say, "but I would like to redeem myself and come back." You shouldn’t just come back because that messes with people. They might have moved on and now you’re back and you may mess up their day. You apologise and make amends with the past.
What’s the best way to get the attention of someone you fancy? I have been hair flicking a treat but it’s not working. Am I being too subtle?
Maybe you’ve just got to go up to them and be like, "I’ve been hair flicking and you’re not doing anything. What are we?" You’ve just got to be forward sometimes. Or just keep hair flicking and wink. I’m someone who talks to nobody so if I see someone that’s attractive, I go the other way.
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What advice would you have for someone who is really shy and bad at making friends?
I feel like I am, too. I’m with you. Sometimes you have to do things that make you a little uncomfortable because those are usually really good decisions and that’s how you get out of a place that you’re in. If you’re a bit uncomfortable, go up to people, talk to them or maybe text somebody you don’t really know but want to get to know. Just be honest. The other person is probably quite shy too. I’ve had the same friends since I was 10. It’s a weird thing to step out and be like, "hey do you wanna be friends." I totally understand but sometimes you have to ask people to hang out. If people ask me, I used to be like "argh" but now I’m like "that’s nice."
Do you have any advice for someone trying to be a music artist?
Sometimes it can be hard as a young girl to assert yourself and you’re going to have to prove yourself a lot in this industry. As long as you maintain a really strong heart and vision for what you want to do, not what everyone else wants you to do and you work really hard for it and know that saying ‘no’ is ok, you’ll be good. Just keep going for it.
Why do you think you’ve been so successful so young?
Obviously, you have to work hard and have a passion for what you do but I also think fate and luck and being in the right place at the right time helped. There are people who are probably way better than me, but someone just happened to see a video of mine. I also feel like I was meant to do this. I’m a big believer in destiny, which sounds really cheesy, but I don’t really know. I don’t know why I was chosen for this. I’m really lucky because there are some really cool people out there who are better than me.
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Alessia Cara’s new album, The Pains of Growing is out on 30th November.