Alessia Cara shares her ‘Growing Pains’

Alessia Cara was interviewed by Carlos Rivera, assistant professor at the Frost School of Music, before answering questions from students. Photos: T.J. Lievonen/University of Miami

By Amanda M. Perez

Alessia Cara was interviewed by Carlos Rivera, assistant professor at the Frost School of Music, before answering questions from students. Photos: T.J. Lievonen/University of Miami

Alessia Cara shares her ‘Growing Pains’

By Amanda M. Perez
The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter visited the University of Miami to speak to students at the Frost School of Music.

Excitement was palpable inside the Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall Monday afternoon. Aspiring musicians, songwriters and music business majors striving to make it in the music industry packed the auditorium for a chance to get up close and personal with Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara.

“The fact that the Frost School of Music was able to bring in such a well-known singer shows how the school is understanding where the industry is going,” said Sean Merlin, a sophomore studying Music Engineering.

Merlin, along with other ambitious artists in the room, got the opportunity to watch the exclusive interview with Carlos Rivera, assistant professor and director of the Musicianship, Artistry Development, and Entrepreneurship Program at the Frost School of Music. Several students even had the chance to ask their own questions.

"It was an amazing opportunity to get advice from Alessia Cara. She was so incredibly open and honest with her responses. The way she addressed everyone was personal and raw,” said Grace Bick, a freshman studying Music Business and Entertainment.

“The fact that she was just so open and transparent with her answers meant a lot. She was able to put a lot of thought into her answers, and based them off her actual experience,” said Zoe Prescod, a sophomore studying Music Engineering.

The 2018 Grammy winner for Best New Artist stopped by UM in advance of her sophomore album, The Pains of Growing, and shared the music video to the album’s first single, “Growing Pains.” The 22-year-old singer is known to use her music to speak out about topics including body positivity and suicide. She revealed this album centers around the different pains of growing up.

“I wrote the album while I was in the middle of touring. I was going through a transitional period not only as an artist, but as a person. The message is there’s nothing that we go through in life that we can’t grow from,” said Cara.

Cara is one of many recent breakout artists who have gained a strong following by tapping into the internet. She gave words of wisdom to those who are looking to jumpstart their career in a world greatly driven by social media.

“It’s so important to take advantage of new platforms like YouTube. You could be yourself and there’s no fear or pressure to be somebody. That’s what I gravitated toward. I was such a shy person, and I hated singing in front of people, but singing in front of a camera was like I was singing to myself,” said Cara.

The award-winning singer also got candid with students and revealed her struggles as a young woman in the music business. She took the time to emphasize how important it is to stay true to yourself.

“I think that’s what separates an artist from a singer. It’s so important to stick to what you think is right. I want people to remember what I represent. I want to do that by being 100 percent who I am,” said Cara.