Alessia Cara is proving to be one of this year’s breakout stars and her list of achievements so far is impressive and extensive: a deal with Def Jam Recordings, a successful debut single (“Here”), a performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and a most coveted endorsement from pop overlord Taylor Swift. But don’t call Cara an overnight success.
Cara has been posting song covers on YouTube since the age of 13 and in the past three years she has amassed a following online. Armed with a webcam and an acoustic guitar, Cara has posted dozens of scrappy, but incredible covers of Beyoncé, Maroon 5 and her “fave artist ever” Amy Winehouse.
In recent months, Cara has continued to flex her cover skills by doing renditions of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which Swift loved so much she retweeted the video to her 64 million Twitter followers. Yesterday, another cover surfaced of her singing pop star Nick Jonas’ latest single, “Levels.”
We took a deep dive into Cara’s YouTube history to find eight of her best covers to date.
Amy Winehouse, 'Valerie'
Proving that Amy Winehouse is one of her favourite artists ever, Cara has covered the British soul singer three times, each with a keen sense of precision and enthusiasm. “Valerie” is definitely the best of the bunch.
Lana Del Rey, 'Summertime Sadness'
The reason why this Lana Del Rey cover is a favourite for people to cover is because no one can replicate the haunting vocals of the original. Here, Cara lets her voice shine as she effortlessly strums along.
Lianne La Havas, 'Age'
The fluttering, airy melody of this Lianne La Havas track is a perfect match for Cara’s own expressive voice and her penchant for catchy pop songs.
Justin Timberlake, 'Mirrors'
This big, emotional anthem gets shrunk into a bedroom cover, but Cara is just as convincing as Timberlake.
Taylor Swift, 'Bad Blood'
Cara adds her own flair to this Taylor Swift pop anthem, improvising between verses and choruses.
Drake, 'Hotline Bling'
A rumbling hip-hop track translated into a beautiful acoustic number that reveals even more melodic potential than the original.
Nick Jonas, 'Levels'
Stripped of its booming dance rhythms, Cara infuses some much needed soul into Jonas’ cookie-cutter pop song.