INTERVIEW: Alessia Cara

Ahead of opening the stage for Coldplay at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on June 4th 2016, Gigslutz had a quick chat with breakthrough golden girl, Alessia Cara about: vegetating in hotel rooms, Amy Winehouse and Game Of Thrones actor,Raleigh Ritchie.

Hi Alessia! Where abouts have you just travelled from?

Alessia: We were in Glenskirchen, Germany. All the shows we’ve done so far were really awesome.

What are you expecting from tonight’s show?

Alessia: I feel in the UK I’m a little more known, and I’ve started to notice already that there’s been actual fans of me that come just to see me. I think more people will know the music. My music has reached the UK a little bit more.

How have the rest of the shows on the Coldplay world tour gone?

Alessia: They’ve been really good. I was nervous before I started the tour, but once I got on stage I wasn’t really nervous anymore. Even though nobody really knows who you are, it’s not as scary as I thought it would be.

Festival VS intimate gig.  Which would you rather perform for?

Alessia: It’s less scary to play for a bigger crowd than a smaller crowd. When you play for three people, you can see who you’re playing for. But when it’s a huge crowd, they all just become one. When you think about it, it’s scary, but when you look out you see a big blob – a mass of people – it’s not so bad.

You’re on tour for an extensive period of time, and there’s nineteen dates on the US leg of the tour alone. How do you cope?

Alessia: It’s hard. This will be the longest we’ve been out for sure. It’s so constant and you don’t have time to turn it off. It’s good when you’re on tour because you’re focused on the shows and don’t have much else going on, so the days that you’re off – you’re off. That time that I have blocked off (whether it’s a day or a few hours) I’m in my hotel room just vegetating. I had a day off yesterday, so maybe tonight I’ll go explore.

Your debut album Insert Name came out in November 2015, have you got a new release lined up?

Alessia: I’ve been trying to write a lot for the next album. I’m not sure whether it will be a full-length project yet, but maybe next year. As far as singles, I guess it depends on what comes out of my writing and just see what happens!

Talk us through your songwriting process.

Alessia: Usually it starts off with a concept, or a line, or something that I feel strongly about and then comes the melody. I put that concept with the melody and come up with lyrics after. But sometimes it’s lyrics first… It’s always a bit different. Everyone has there own ‘thing’ and maybe mine will change. My songwriting process has already changed even since the album! I can write anywhere, but I do have to be alone.

Is there a specific artist that has influenced and shaped your songwriting?

Alessia: I love a bunch of singer/songwriters. Ed Sheeran and Drake, Frank Ocean. Amy Winehouse of course is a huge inspiration. Just artists who are really real, and make stories. Even Chris Martin [Coldplay] is one of the best writers out there for me, I think he’s insane. Watching Sebastian Cole work as well, I’m sitting there absorbing things from him at a young age, figuring out what the whole ‘skill’ of songwriting is.

As a breakthrough artist, have you got anybody tipped to make it big in 2016?

Alessia: I’m a big fan of Troy Sivan, he’s already big but I think he’s going to be bigger than he is now – he’s so great. I think his music can transcend all over, it’s a cool sound. I’m a big fan of Raleigh Ritchie, he’s from the UK and has a really great album which I think is awesome.

How close have you grown to your band?

Alessia: Very close! I never really thought I would be one of those artists who made friends with men who are way older than me. It’s very cool, we’re family. I know that sounds cliché and cheesy. When you spend so much time with the same people you either hate them or become friends. They’re all Canadian, most of my team apart from my road manager are Canadian actually.

Finally Alessia, because you’ve got soundcheck coming up. Desert Island discs: which three records would you bring with you to a deserted island?

Alessia: Definitely Amy’s ‘Back To Black‘ – or Frank of course – maybe Lorde’s Pure Heroine. Then something I could try to figure out and not get bored… Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, because there’s a lot of metaphors in there and a lot of the songs are very abstract.

Thanks so much for talking to me Alessia! Break a leg on the rest of the Coldplay world tour.

Ella Scott

Ella Scott

Gigslutz Editor, token Geordie and Blur fangirl. Naturally, achieving Vicky Pattinson's VIP edge is what drives me to get up in the morning.