How Alessia Cara’s music speaks to the millennial generation

31 July 2018

The phrase "voice of our generation" gets thrown around all too often these days. Every now and then, however, we hear an artist whose music and lyrics speak so truthfully about what it feels like to be us — who manages to capture what's at the core of our emotions so beautifully — that the title naturally comes to mind.

We're not saying that Alessia Cara, who performs at Hyperplay this weekend, is THE voice of her generation. But she definitely is a voice—and a pretty powerful one at that.

Take her first single, "Here": When else have you heard a young artist sing about introversion? When else have you heard the words "I just came to kick it but really / I would rather be at home all by myself not in this room/ With people who don't even care about my well-being /I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend" in a pop song? When else did you hear that much honesty about feelings that popstars stereotypically shouldn't have?

And yet, the track topped three different Billboard charts, and was mentioned as one of the best tracks of 2015 by nine different publications.

Or what about her MTV Video Music Award-winning song "Scars to Your Beautiful", which talks about the emotions involved with body image issues?

"So she tries to cover up her pain
And cut her woes away
'Cause covergirls don't cry
After their face is made"

It isn't rare for artists to talk about deeper, more introspective issues. But few manage to do it in a way that feels so genuine, that it doesn't seem like it's coming from someone above you, but from someone who's been there with you. And it's even more uncommon for all that emotion to be contained inside a bangin' pop track.

Because here's the thing about Alessia Cara–she manages to make honesty danceable. Even if you manage to ignore the lyrics, and just listen to the melody and the quality of her voice, it's music you can bounce to.

It's probably why she won the Best New Artist award at the 2018 Grammys, and why her collab with Logic and Khalid, "1-800-273-8255", won Song of the Year. The music that she lends her voice to is uplifting to those who can relate to the lyrics, and fun to those who can't. Regardless of who you are, and what you've been through, you can still connect with her music.

And that speaks of the emotional diversity of her generation. There are a million different voices out there, and because of how connected the world is today, every single one of them can be heard. Alessia's voice is one that stands out among the noise, and it's one people want to listen to. It's a voice you can relate to, and one you can just plain have fun with.

At the Hyperplay esports + music festival on August 4 and 5 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, you can experience that voice as Alessia Cara puts on a jaw-dropping show for music and esports fans alike.

In an event loaded with emotional highs — with international League of Legends esports tournaments and artists like Nick Jonas, CL, The Sam Willows, Afgan, Slot Machine taking the stage — her performance promises to be one of the highest.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is proof of her star power.

— Marco Sumayao

Catch Alessia Cara performing live at MTV Spotlight @ Hyperplay, August 4–5 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Tune in to MTV Asia at 4pm (SGT), or livestream the entire esports + music festival at


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