Singer-songwriter Alessia Cara opens up about her honest feelings on 'In the Meantime'

연합뉴스 / 2021-10-12 18:46:56
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▲ This photo, provided by Shervin Lainez, shows singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, who has returned to the music scene with "In the Meantime," has said the autobiographical album contains her experience with anxiety and overcoming the difficult progress.


The 18-track album is filled with common and relatable messages for people in their 20s, especially in the lyrics of the title track "Best Days": "So much harder to be honest / With yourself at twenty something / Wish I knew what I'm becoming I want to know what I want to be / What if my best days are the days I've left behind?,"

In a recent video interview with Yonhap News Agency, Cara said, "For me, this year was just a lot about discovery and healing old and new wounds. "(I have come) to a place of acceptance and hope that I didn't really have at the beginning of the year."

A lot of the songs will be very heavy and talk a lot about my anxieties, fears, and pains in different ways. However, a lot of other songs are about my healing process, the things I have discovered about myself, and a new joy for life I've discovered. I feel very lucky to have found it because it wasn't always easy. But you'll hear all the ups and downs on the project for sure," she added.

After struggling with extreme insomnia one night, Cara decided to use the opportunity to complete her song "Sweet Dream."

"As long as I remember, I have always had trouble falling asleep at night," Cara said. "Last year, it just got really bad and intense. I was going through intense periods of panic and anxiety. This particular night was extra frustrating for me, so I did what I usually do when I'm frustrated and I started writing songs over the course of one night," Cara added. "By the next morning, I had this song."

The 26-year-old singer also revealed that the monster she had always believed to have been living under her bed when she was younger, was now actually in her.

"I was one of those kids who believed there was a monster under my bed," she recalled. "I felt like the monsters that I thought were under my bed growing up have become my fears and anxieties and monsters that kind of live in our heads."

▲ This photo, provided by Shervin Lainez, shows singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


Throughout the album, Cara also deliberately mixes two opposite sentiments together in one song. "Sweet Dream," which seems to deliver a pleasant message, is actually a low-pitched song and sung as if she is spitting out a warning to someone.

"When I was listening to the project as a whole, I came to quickly realize that there was a heavy theme of 'duality' in this project, both lyrically and sonically," Cara said. "There is a lot of up-tempo and lighthearted stuff but then there is a lot of down-tempo, more heavy stuff, so I felt like the best way to represent that whole project would be to put out two songs that were opposite to each other."

Throughout the "In the Meantime" album, Cara clearly portrays the theme of duality in terms of lyrics and sound. For example, the juxtaposition in the title of the lead track "I Miss You, Don't Call Me" delivers two opposite messages.

In addition, the song "Voice In My Head," which talks about an evil being bothering an individual inside their heads, surprisingly has a bright up-tempo sound.

"My ultimate goal with all of my records--especially this one--would be to not only allow people to have a look into my opinion and thoughts but also hopefully have a mirror held up to themselves and maybe learn something new about themselves," Cara added.

Ahead of the album's release, Cara dropped "Shape Shifter," one of the tracks listed in the album, as a lead single.

The singer mentioned she was able to open up her honest feelings on the album, especially in "Shape Shifter," thanks to the late English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse.

"I'm a huge Amy Winehouse fan. Growing up, I just adored her and she's one of the reasons I started making music and I was lucky enough to work with Salaam Remi, who is a very close collaborator of Amy, so I wrote that song in the house where (Amy Winehouse) wrote all of her music. I guess just because she was so unapologetic, it kind of gave me the courage being in her environment to be the same way and to write in a way that felt super honest and confident," the singer added. "I'm very thankful for being in that space because I don't think I would've been as honest otherwise.


▲ This photo, provided by Shervin Lainez, shows singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Cara has now emerged as the next-generation singer-songwriter, catching the attention of the public and critics since her debut with her 2015 single "Here." In 2018, Cara even won the Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards, which is regarded as the most honorable awards ceremony in the music industry.

In Korea, the singer first gained fame for singing the hit soundtrack, "How Far I'll Go," for Disney's animation movie "Moana." Around 2018, Cara also heated the music scene after featuring in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) song "Stay" with German songwriter Zedd.

Although fans in Korea were given the chance to meet Cara for the first time at the Seoul Jazz Festival last year, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic.

"I was so excited to go (to Korea) because it was something I was so excited about and COVID-19 ruined all of our plans, but hopefully we will reschedule and get to come back soon," Cara said.

The singer also expressed her interest in K-pop, which has now become a global phenomenon.

"I do really love BLACKPINK. I love everything they do. I'm a huge fan of girl groups and I feel like they do it so well. They are so massive and such stars," adding, "I love seeing girls doing their thing and being confident."

Cara also recalled her experience in witnessing K-pop supergroup BTS' stage at the American Music Awards (AMA), saying, "It was the craziest thing I've ever seen. I've never felt a room vibrate like that before."

"I think it's wonderful. I love the idea of other cultures and other parts of the world getting recognition worldwide. I think it's beautiful because I'm a huge fan of music from all over the world, like I love Italian music, French music, Spanish music, I listen to everything and I think it's so wonderful that it's getting the recognition it deserves," Cara said.



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