Alessia Cara is the winner of the 2018 Best New Artist Grammy Award. She is an R&B and alternative R&B singer admired for fusing the genre with pop, soul, and indie-pop. Cara shares the same nationality as Justin Bieber and just like him, YouTube played a role in launching her career as she began posting cover songs on the platform when she was only 13. She grew up a shy child and was too scared to sing in front of others, so she embraced YouTube to get her voice put out to the world. She subsequently landed a record deal in 2014, her fame touched the skies and since then people have been asking questions that revolve around Alessia Cara’s ethnicity, her parents, and indeed the entirety of her life outside of her career.
The Singer Is a Canadian of Southern Italy Ancestry
- Full Name: Alessia Caracciolo
- Date of Birth: July 11, 1996
- Age: 24 Years Old
- Place of Birth: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
- Father: Vincenzo Caracciolo
- Mother: Enza Ciccione
- Height: 5 Feet 1 Inch
It is hardly a secret that the singer is a citizen of Canada, what most people don’t know is that her heritage can be traced to Southern Italy. As you would easily find, Alessia Cara was born on the 11th of July 1996 in Mississauga, located in Ontario, Canada. However, she was raised in Brampton, also in Ontario. There, she schooled at Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School.
To the best of our knowledge, Cara is yet to be college-educated. She reportedly spent so much time during her senior year in secondary school recording demos and ultimately got her parents to approve putting off going to college so that she can concentrate on music. Given the successes she has pulled in the industry within five years of becoming a professional singer, there is no doubt that delaying college was a good call.
Alessia Cara is often described as a Canadian singer but that does not do justice to who she is as she is also Italian. Her family is originally from Calabria, a region you will find in Southern Italy. Yes, both of her parents are Italians: while her mother is an Italian immigrant, her father was born to Italian parents from Canada.
The singer confirmed that, disclosing that her mother was born and brought up in Italy whereas her father is a first-generation Canadian. Even though the man was born in Canada, both of his parents were born and raised in Italy. The singer said her father lived in both Italy and Canada at different times until he eventually settled in the latter country; this was after he got married to her mother.
Meet Her Parents, Enza Ciccione and Vincenzo Caracciolo
Alessia Cara has often made it clear that she wouldn’t have attained the level of success and fame she has enjoyed in the music industry without the support of her parents. First, they made her fall in love with music as they played contemporary Italian pop and classics from Sinatra to Amy Winehouse, Elvis, and The Beatles. Then, when they noticed she had taken to singing, they encouraged her in many ways, one of which was buying her a guitar as a birthday present when she turned ten years old.
Enza Ciccione (Alessia Cara’s Mother)
Don't let ever anyone let you believe that you are worthed less then you are, and you know who sucks? People that don't have the capability to see that, papa' and I are so proud of you in a way you can't even immagine . Love you fino alla luna and back! pic.twitter.com/Su1PWE8nQ0
— Vcc (@5_orchidea) January 29, 2018
Enza is an Italian immigrant from Calabria who left her birth country to start a family with her husband in Canada after they got married. The singer has a good relationship with her mother and has credited her for helping her keep in touch with her Italian roots. Cara’s fluency in Italian has a lot to do with her mother. The singer said Enza didn’t speak English when her kids were younger and only communicated with them in Italian. Because of this, Alessia spoke English with an Italian accent when she was a kid.
Much wasn’t known about Enza Ciccione until her daughter won the 2018 Best New Artist Grammy Award. People had contended that she didn’t deserve the award as she had been active in the industry since 2014 and had released several projects. Enza wouldn’t watch people pull her child down, so she reportedly took to social media sites to support her daughter as shown in the Twitter embed above.
Vincenzo Caracciolo (Alessia Cara’s Father)
Reports have it that Alessia’s father is a welder. Born in Canada to Italian parents, he had to live in Canada and Italy at different times, but he eventually decided to make Canada his permanent home when he got married to Enza Ciccione. It is hard to tell anything else about Vincenzo but from what we know, he is a good father and also has a good relationship with his famous daughter.
There was a time the singer shared that her dad is very strict, citing that he gets agitated every time a guy is around her. The man is very protective and would accompany Cara everywhere even when she was 19. She often had to stay in her room and did all her early recordings in the bathroom so as not to disturb her younger brother.
Vincenzo must have come to terms with the fact that his daughter is now an adult. It is no secret that Kevin Garrett was once Cara’s boyfriend. The duo did a joint concert tour in 2016 and released some cover songs together online. Kevin is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and producer who studied music technology at New York University. He is signed to Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation, and has an EP called Mellow Drama. The artist who wrote Beyonce’s Pray You Catch Me parted ways with Alessia in 2018.
Alessia Cara Became Famous For Uploading Covers of Songs On YouTube
Though Alessia has always been artistically inclined, she didn’t want to be a singer. When she was younger, she was convinced that visual art was her calling and would paint, draw, and make crafts. She also wrote poetry and performed in theatre Her interest in music was ignited when her parents gave her an acoustic guitar on her 10th birthday.
After that, she began playing and learned how to play various songs by herself. By the time she was 13, she has started doing covers of songs and uploading them to her YouTube channel. Her first cover was Price Tag but her Sweater Weather (by The Neighborhood) cover became very popular on the platform, garnering thousands of views that dragged her into the limelight in 2013.
That singular performance got the attention of Tony Perez’s (founder of EP Entertainment) daughter who contacted Alessia Cara after watching her video. At the end of the day, the singer landed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings in 2014.
Her Fame Touched The Skies When She Dropped Her Debut Single – Here
Her debut single, Here, which was released afterward, was met with huge success and brought her international acclaim. The song was named one of the best Canadian songs of April by Complex and reached number 19 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart as well as peaking at number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The following year, Alessia made her first televised debut in July, performing Here on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The song (which is about the terrible time she had at a party) was nominated for the Original Song gong at the Streamy Award.
It was a sleeper hit and also became known as the quintessential loner anthem with Spotify naming it the viral song of 2015. There were also many other impressive titles given to that one super hit. Spin called it a “can’t miss track” while Cosmopolitan named it a “must-hear song”. It was ranked number 21 on Rolling Stone’s year-end list of the 50 best songs of 2015. Here was included on Billboard’s 20 Pop Songs You Need For Your Summer Playlist in June 2015. The success of her debut single was much more than she anticipated. It was only put out to introduce her as an artist but blew up and she described it as awesome.
Alessia Cara Has Thus Far Released 5 EPs and 2 Studio Albums
The best reward for work well done is actually more work; this was the case for Alessia. She didn’t rest on her oars with her newfound fame but rather went on to release more songs. Her EP Four Pink Walls which contained five songs (Here, Seventeen, Outlaws, Four Pink Walls, I’m Yours) was followed by her debut album Know-It-All on November 13, 2015. Her songs are usually inspired by her own life which makes them different with touches of ingenuity.
Know-It-All peaked at the 19th spot on US Billboard 200 and reached number 8 on the Canadian Album Chart. The third single in the album, Scars to Your Beautiful, reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. She lent her voice to movie soundtracks and sang How Far I’ll Go in the Disney film, Moana. The music video for the single was released on November 3, 2016, and has received hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. It has received several nominations and won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
In all, her body of work includes five Extended Plays and two studio albums as listed below:
- Four Pink Walls (EP – Released on August 28, 2015)
- Know-It-All (Studio Album – Released on November 13, 2015)
- Spotify Singles (EP – Released on April 24, 2019)
- This Summer (EP – Released on September 6, 2019)
- The Pains of Growing (Studio Album – Released on November 30, 2018)
- This Summer: Live off the Floor (EP – Released on July 17, 2020)
- Holiday Stuff (EP – Released on December 5, 2020)
Influences and Notable Collaborations
The Here singer has included in her list of influencers the likes of Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Fergie of Black Eyed Peas, Drake (who follows her on Twitter), and Ed Sheeran. Her singing and writing styles have been compared to singers such as Lorde, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, and Norah Jones.
Taylor Swift is one of her fans and acclaimed the young singer on her performance of Bad Blood. They performed Here on Taylor Swift’s The 1989 World Tour in 2015 that had 55,000 people in attendance. In 2016, the official video for Wild Things was released on March 7, and in December, she released a music video for Seventeen. She was featured on June 23, 2016, in a re-released version of the song, Wild by Troye Sivan.
The widely acclaimed singer collaborated with producer Zedd to create the single Stay and was featured in Logic’s song, 1-800-273-8255, from his Everybody album. The song earned a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. She has also performed on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest on February 4, 2017.
Alessia Cara Won Her First and Only Grammy Award In 2018
Alessia Cara has been widely recognized for her works and has been winning accolades. She was awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2016 Juno Awards and was short-listed for the BBC Music Sound award for 2016 but finished as the runner-up. Other awards include two MTV Video Music Awards, two Canadian Music Awards, and a Radio Disney Music Award.
The girl who sang that she used to believe that her dreams only existed in her dreams and has been pretending to win a Grammy since she was a kid in her shower eventually won a Grammy. She was nominated for her first four Grammys and won the Best New Artist on January 28, 2018. With that, she became the first Canadian artist to win the category and that marks an impressive leap for her career.
The award is considered one of the toughest categories because you can only be nominated once and the competition is fierce. In her speech, she thanked her parents, her brother, her music team, the Grammys, and her fans; noting that the award is for them and that they are the reason she won’t have to win Grammys in her shower anymore.
List of All The Prestigious Awards She Has Won
In all, the Canadian singer has been nominated for no fewer than 73 prestigious awards out of which she has won at least 17.