Alessia Cara:a 3-song Junos primer

The fifth in a series of three-song primers of Canadian artists performing at the 2017 Juno Awards on April 2.

The fifth in a series of three-song primers of Canadian artists performing at the 2017 Juno Awards.

Alessia Cara: a 3-song Junos primer

Now with 11 acts and artists confirmed to perform so far (Feist was most recently announced for a tribute to Leonard Cohen), this year's Junos broadcast on Sunday, April 2, promises to be one of the biggest in the award ceremony's history.

From emerging artists like Ruth B to established acts like Sarah McLachlan and Billy Talent, there's something for every music fan, and there are also a lot of great opportunities to discover exciting, new-to-you artists for your earbuds — to punch up your playlists or add to your record collection, or scope out for when their tours come to your hometown.

Think of the live Junos broadcast as an opportunity to survey just a little bit more of the country's music scene, its depth and breadth, and then keep checking back daily as CBC Music posts its handy three-song primers for each artist and band, as well as a few quotes to help deepen your appreciation of all these great musicians.

Alessia Cara

Cara was just 13 years old when she made her own YouTube channel to upload her acoustic covers to the streaming service. At 18, she was suddenly a viral sensation thanks to her first original song, "Here," a too-real R&B-pop smash that made her a household name. It became the first single off her debut release, 2015's Know-It-All, a record that, so far, has sparked three massive hits. In 2016, Cara won a Juno for breakthrough artist, and Disney came calling, recruiting her to sing the Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned Moana anthem, "How Far I'll Go."

It seems almost impossible given all her success the last 20 months, but 2017 might be Cara's biggest year yet. On Feb. 4 she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and on Feb. 23, she released "Stay," with Zedd, which racked up 40 million YouTube views in its first three weeks. It's now close to 60 million. And Cara's nominated in four categories at this year's Juno Awards, including single, artist and pop album of the year.

Below are three essential songs that provide a bit of shape and context to the band's evolving sound, as well as some quotes and interview excerpts to help you get to know the real Alessia Cara.

Song: "Here"
Album: Know-It-All (2015)

An excerpt from Cara's interview with Taylor Swift, talking about the "lame" party that inspired "Here:"

"It's funny because now I hear that it gets played at parties. If you think about it, it's such a miserable song for a single. But it worked, right?"

Song: "Scars to Your Beautiful"
Album: Know-It-All (2015)

On self-esteem and body image (Teen Vogue, 2016):



Song: "How Far I'll Go"
Album: Moana soundtrack (2016)

On identifying with Moana herself (IBTimes.co.uk, 2016):

"It's one of the first Disney films to feature the main girl without a love interest. She's a very independent person, stubborn and wants to explore outside of the world she owns and that's very much me. I very much resonated with her in a lot of ways."


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