Alessia Cara says adulthood makes her ‘nervous’ despite skyrocketing music career

As a teenager enters adulthood, they might find themselves nervously booking appointments over the phone, having to engage in more one-on-one conversations with people and exploring the world alone — but Canadian pop star Alessia Cara says those tasks still make her nervous to this day.

“There’s certain responsibilities you have to have for yourself, and things like that are very scary for me,” said Cara.

On Wednesday, the 22-year-old singer from Brampton, Ont. will bring her national tour, The Pains of Growing, to Caesars Windsor. The tour’s name, she said, carries a “more literal” name than her first tour in 2016, titled Know-It-All.

“I think everybody in that phase of their life sometimes feels like they have it all figured it out. I was definitely that type of teenager,” said Cara, adding that she started working on her first album when she was in high school.

‘Growing Pains’ is the lead track off Alessia Cara’s second album titled ‘The Pains of Growing.’ (Def Jam)

“It was a sarcastic title when I say Know-It-All because I knew I didn’t know anything at all,” said Cara. “But you have that front when you’re a teenager sometimes where you think you’re going to have it all figured it out soon and then you realize you don’t.”

Cara said the past couple of years have shown her that “pain and growth definitely go hand-in-hand” and she’s had to learn the hard way how to deal with some of the challenges that come with growing into adulthood.

‘I’m still scared of talking on the phone’

Despite her success as a musician, Cara said adulthood responsibilities still frighten her.

“I’m still scared of talking on the phone. I get really nervous to book things myself. I’m not good at that stuff at all,” said Cara.

But with certain responsibilities — and in her case, fame — you have to grow up fast. Cara recalled a pivotal moment when she attended the Met Gala, which she said prohibited attendees from bringing accompanying guests.

Alessia Cara won the 2018 Grammy Award for best new artist. (Christopher Polk)

“I was in there totally by myself, having to talk to people on my own. I had no crutches with me or anything. No team, no friends,” said Cara.

“While I was extremely scared and uncomfortable, it taught me a lot — and I had the most fun being on my own, which is something I’ve never really done before.”

The message in her music

Cara said she’s also trying to utilize her platform to “bridge a gap” between what people post on social media to make their lives look perfect and the real struggles that those same people face every day. 

“We don’t really think about it because we’re so in our own bubble and we see the positive side of everyone and we forget that everybody is a human being, too.”

I’m still scared of talking on the phone. I get really nervous to book things myself. I’m not good at that stuff at all.– Alessia Cara

Cara said her music ranges from songs with socially-conscious messages to songs that reflect some of her insecurities. 

According to Cara, it’s important for people to know that it’s okay to feel “not so great about yourself sometimes,” and said those “not-so-positive” messages are just as important as the positive ones.