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Alessia Cara is not only the pop star we want right now, she’s also the one we need. This year will go down as one of the most difficult politically, socially and culturally, from the war in Syria to the shocking outcome of the US election to the grave number of influential artists who we lost in 2016.
It’s been a tough year, but through it all there have been moments of hope and inspiration, with young people especially looking towards their idols for reassurance in volatile times. One of those idols is Alessia Cara.
The iHeartRadio MMVA and JUNO Award winner has just released her video for “Seventeen,” with Alessia and a number of women portraying the Brampton native riding a streetcar through Toronto, depicting Cara’s various life stages. It’s a simple yet effective message, reiterating that life moves fast and we should slow down and enjoy it along the way.
As was the case with her videos for “Wild Things” and “I’m Yours,” Cara cast her friends and family in the video. Along with its debut on Vevo today, Cara posted a message for fans, writing, “Thanks for being the first people to check out my video for seventeen. It’s a personal song and video for me (starring my family and friends, as usual) and I’m excited it’s finally out for u guys to see. Hope it’ll remind u to enjoy all the little moments in life, especially this time of year. Thank u for making mine that much more special. Happy holidays & enjoy the video.”
With her 2015 debut album Know-It-All, Cara has gifted the world an album full of songs aimed at making listeners feel worthy, feel more than, and most importantly, feel less alone. Amazingly, she’s done all that while also giving us a solo dance party soundtrack.
During two world wars and the great depression, the idea of childhood was something that largely ended in the preteens when many children were expected to leave school and get jobs. The childhood stage grew in the 1960s and 1970s, but at the turn of the 21st Century, a shift back towards shorter childhoods has been the result of a rise in technology and exposure to adult images and pressures at increasingly younger ages. It’s a topic musicians, often female, have examined in their songs, most notably Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” and Taylor Swift’s “15.”
The desire to hang onto the short, but integral stage between childhood and adulthood is the main crux of Cara’s latest single “Seventeen,” with the 20 year-old singing “I was too young to understand what it means / I couldn’t wait ’til I could be seventeen / I thought she lied when she said take my time to breathe / Now I wish I could freeze the time at seventeen.” The deeply personal lyrics effectively provide an honest and intimate account of a time of self-discovery when the pressures to fit in can be overwhelming.
Cara recently wrapped the second leg of her Know-It-All Tour and has been performing as part of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour. During a tour stop this month in Boston, she teamed up with DNCE’s JinJoo and JoJo for an impromptu bathroom performance of her duet with JoJo on their track “I Can Only.”
Check out Alessia Cara’s new video for “Seventeen” here.