Alessia Cara, Best New Artist prospect for the 2016 Grammys, is set to cover Billboard magazine! What an exciting moment to be in the discussion for a Grammy!
“Oh, my God, it would mean everything,” says Cara of a nomination coming her way on Dec. 6. The pop artist’s raw, confessional album, Know-It-All, was one of the year’s outstanding breakout debuts.
The young Canadian artist took to Chicago with fellow Best New Artist prospects, Chance the Rapper and Maren Morris for the Billboard photoshoot. Alessia might be the youngest of the three, but she shines bright and sophisticated during her on-set interview.
Billboard: What can the industry do better for women and artists of color?
Alessia: One thing would be stop trying to pit [women] against each other all the time. Why does [competition] always have to be portrayed as a feud? You don’t really see that with men.
Billboard: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another artist?
Alessia: When I toured with Coldplay, Chris Martin said that the audience will always give you what you give them. I also randomly met Tricky at an airport one day, and he told me, “Take care of yourself. You come first.” He said he didn’t do that when he was in his prime, and it’s the one thing he regrets.
Billboard: Have you had a moment with a fan that made you think all of this hard work is worth it?
Alessia: It ranges from someone telling me that one of my songs helped them reconsider taking their own life, to the girl who told me that I had given her the courage to come out to her family. She said that I was actually the first person that she came out to, and that she was going to go tell her family next.
Billboard: If you could use your power as a musician or celebrity to change one thing in society, what would it be?
Alessia: I’d like to shut off all the noise and allow people to be creative without all the judgments and standards that we think we have to follow. The bar is set so high for women, and it doesn’t really exist for men.
When I did the  MTV Video Music Awards [preshow], I chose to go with no makeup because I’m doing this whole campaign for my song “Scars.” I just wore my regular clothes — I didn’t fancy it up — and a lot of articles, especially those written by women, said, essentially, “We understand what you’re trying to do, but if you just could have elevated it a bit…” That’s so frustrating! I’m trying to make a statement, and they’re saying they acknowledge that statement, yet wish I would change. You put so much work into being a good performer, and then all people can talk about is what shoes you’re wearing.
Billboard: Another big question: Trump or Clinton?
Alessia: I’m just going to say that I’m very lucky to be Canadian.
^We couldn’t agree more on that one, AC!
Billboard: What’s next for you?
Alessia: I’m trying to write a bit on the road. I thought it was going to be easy but it’s actually very difficult. When I make an album I want to dedicate all my time to it, because I got to do that for the first one.
Billboard: If you’re nominated, what will you wear to the Grammys?
Alessia: I feel like that’s one night where I would just go all-out for fun. So if you do see me in, like, a full-out gown that’s just because I decided to do that. I would never wear anything because someone told me to.
Billboard: Alessia, will you wear makeup?
Alessia: If I’m performing “Scars,” I won’t onstage. But if I’m going to go all out for that night, I might as well go all the way out.
Catch the full interview here.
We wish Alessia Cara good luck + hope to see her name in lights when the Grammy nominations are revealed 🙂