Soundtrack Of My Life: Alessia Cara

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and star of new Netflix movie ‘The Willoughbys’

The first song I can remember hearing

Oscar the Grouch – ‘I Love Trash’

“When I was two years old, I can remember singing this song from Sesame Street all the time. It was my favourite tune in the whole world – even more than the I love you’ song from Barney & Friends.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Coldplay – ‘Viva La Vida’

“It just sounded so different to anything I’d heard before. To this day Chris Martin‘s voice is one of the best I’ve ever heard. I always used to say it sounded like he had a cold – he sounded a little stuffy, which I love! And also, it was a song my mom loved listening to. I can remember coming downstairs from my bedroom and seeing her dancing to ‘Viva La Vida’ in our living room and crying. It was the first time I’d seen music really move someone like that.”

The first album I bought

The Black Eyed Peas – ‘Monkey Business’

“I heard their song ‘Don’t Lie’ on the radio one day and remember thinking it sounded so cool. I’d never heard someone rapping over guitar before. I guess I found that crossing of genres really interesting and wanted to hear more from this band. I also liked the fact there was a girl in this band full of boys – I don’t know why we don’t see that kind of mix more often.”

The first concert I went to

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Justin Bieber – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, 2013

“I was late to the concert scene because I had strict parents and wasn’t allowed to go to concerts until I was a little older. But my cousins had an extra ticket to Justin Bieber‘s ‘Believe Tour’ so I got to go to this show and loved it. Honestly, my mind was blown at how loud it was and the fact this person was able to perform for so many people. It was such a wild experience and I’d never experienced anything like it before.”

The song I wish I’d written

Amy Winehouse – ‘Tears Dry On My Own’

“Oh my God, don’t ask me this question – there are so many! But OK, I think I have to pick an Amy Winehouse song because she’s such a phenomenal lyricist. The way she can put in very specific details from her life experience but still make it relatable to people is a very special gift. I mean, whenever I hear ‘Me and Mr. Jones’, I feel like that guy [Winehouse is singing about] made me miss the Slick Rick gig too – I get mad at this guy I’ve never met!”

The song that makes me want to dance

Rihanna ft. Drake – ‘Work’

“This song makes me feel so much cooler than I am – even though I definitely can’t do any of the moves that Rihanna can do. I don’t know if anyone’s cooler than Rihanna actually.”

The song I do at karaoke

Alanis Morissette – ‘Hand In My Pocket’

“I mean, I definitely don’t do my own songs – that would be weird. Destiny’s Child and Alanis Morissette are my go-to artists at karaoke. I can’t believe her ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album is 25 years old this year – it’s one of those albums where you can play it now and everything still makes sense.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Anderson .Paak – ‘Celebrate’

“I’d choose this song because it would help make my funeral more of a celebration of life. I mean, hopefully people wouldn’t wanna party fully at my funeral, but at the same time I wouldn’t wanna bum everyone out. I don’t want the kind of funeral where everyone wears black and cries, you know?”

The album I wouldn’t get sick of in self-isolation

Amy Winehouse – ‘Frank’

“This album’s totally underrated. I love the Motown feel she gave us on ‘Back To Black’, but ‘Frank’ is more jazz and I think in a way, more reflective of her roots. I like the way she put all these interludes on the album and kind of incorporated some hip-hop, which felt so different at the time and still feels different now. I mean, I don’t hear anyone doing this kind of thing in the mainstream now – or anyone writing a song like ‘Fuck Me Pumps’.

The Willoughbys’ is on Netflix now and Alessia Cara’s new single ‘I Choose’ appears on the soundtrack

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