Alessia performs her debut song, “Here” and “Scars”.

“Here” is unapologetically autobiographical: “‘Here’ is a true story,” Alessia confesses. “It’s a party song, but really it’s the complete opposite of a party song. It’s absolutely me; it shouts out the person in the corner of the party, looking around uncomfortably. I feel like this song narrates what the wallflower is thinking.”

There’s a new breed of pop star seizing hold of the world’s airwaves and online— more accurately, a conscious pop star who has set to subversively top charts and sway hearts and minds. This enigma embodied is 18-year-old, Canadian-Italian Alessia Cara, who is riding the refrains of her ironic anthem, “Here.” Premiered by The Fader, “Here” garnered over 500,000 total streams in its first week as well as hit #1 on Spotify, resounding praise for its freshness and insight.

Alessia’s mature pen game is matched by her larger-than-life voice; she’s dazzlingly chameleon-like, boasting the kind of versatility that makes Rihanna such a force. In short, Alessia has cause to be confident, but she is still the bashful, small-town girl, even in the big city. Alessia is equal parts fresh face, old soul, newcomer and lifer.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at