In the span of one year, twenty-year-old Alessia Cara saw not one, but two of her singles break onto the U.S. Top 10 Chart, with “Here” topping off at number 5 in February 2016 and “Scars to Your Beautiful” at number 10 this past week.
In order to break the top the ten, you need great music, but perhaps more importantly, you need to get noticed.
Here’s how Cara did it.
1. She’s tried out fun, uncommon settings for music videos.
Most of Cara’s music videos have been what one might expect from a rising star, but every so often she switches it up. Recently, Cara made an appearance sitting on a toilet seat while singing her new song “I Can Only” with Jojo and DNCE’s JinJoo. This surprising background drew in viewers, and it helped drew attention to Cara’s other singles, too.
Watch Cara jam out in the bathroom here.
2. She’s been open to collaborations.
Cara has collaborated with more than just Jojo and JinJoo over the past few years, and in terms of getting noticed, it has been extremely successful. Other popular collabs have included G-Eazy, Troye Sivan, and Sebastian Kole. With each collaboration, Cara broadened her fan base and got more exposure to her music.
Watch Troye Sivan and Alessia Cara’s “WILD” below.
3. She writes songs that have powerful meanings.
Some of Cara’s greatest hits have not only been songs that she has personally written but those that have a positive, influential message behind them. Whether she’s advocating for avoiding uncomfortable situations or loving the body you were born in, her willingness to use her voice has attracted more fans, and it has certainly brought her to the spotlight.
Listen to Cara explain where she got her inspiration for “Here” below.
Transitioning from a small-time artist to a chart-topper is a no easy feat, but Alessia Cara seems to have embraced the challenges and handled them with ease. Follow in her footsteps to take advantage of all your opportunities and kickstart your own music career.
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Kelsey Leaman is a senior at American University in Washington D.C. studying Economics and International Studies. She is passionate about writing, Lemonade, and Michelle Obama.