At just 22 years old, Alessia Cara has a profoundly relatable grasp on the growing pains that are life. The songstress debuted her second studio album, The Pains of Growing, during an intimate and emotional iHeartRadio Album Release Party in Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 28.
Hosted by JoJo Wright, Alessia shed tears and life revelations while premiering her candid new album to just a handful of lucky fans at iHeartRadio’s Theater in Burbank.
“I’m already crying,” she admitted after stepping onto stage. “I’m sorry — it’s really emotional all of this. … As a lot of you guys know, it’s been three years since I put out an album … and my life has changed completely,” she continued, before explaining the title behind her second studio album.
“Anybody’s life kind of changes in three years no matter what … and I just needed to write about it and this album, the whole process, has felt like something I needed to do for myself,” she added. “You never stop growing and that whole concept is always going to be relevant.”
The Pains of Growing also comes on the heels of a breakup, which Alessia candidly revealed also heavily influenced her writing. That said, while most artist bare their souls unapologetically in their music, she always includes her subjects.
“If I’m ever writing about somebody in any way, I always show the person before I release it,” Alessia told JoJo. “… I think it's a good thing to be open. I don’t think you can ever be too open.”
A bevy of tracks on The Pains of Growing hint at her split, including heart-heavy jams “Comfortable,” “I Don’t Want To,” “Out of Love,” and “Not Today.” The album also includes politically charged track “7 Days,” which Alessia explained was inspired by her faith.
“This is too much,” Alessia told JoJo after delivering the first-ever performance of “7 Days.” “I’m also on my period so…” she casually dropped, making us love her even more.
“I wrote this song during a time which I feel like is still going on when you could not turn on social media or the news without seeing something frustrating,” she explained of the track. “… I was raised in a Catholic household … and I wanted to have a conversion with whoever is up there … like, ‘Are you mad at us? What is the purpose? We need some help’ … [I took] that concept that God created the earth in seven days and … I wanted to ask God if we we’re worth those seven days … so this is for anyone out there that has any questions because I certainly do.“
The tracks Alessia debuted following “7 Days” she warned are tear-jerkers.
“This is one of my favorites on the album,” she teased of “Comfortable.” “It sounds very Motown-y. It’s a song about the comfortable phase in a relationship … and I think it’s pretty enviable in any relationship ... and me being a very insecure person I’m like, ‘What happens when this person knows everything about me? … And my tricks don’t work anymore?’ … At first I thought it was a negative thing, … and I realized that if you’re both still there after acknowledging the quirky parts and flaws, then that’s the most romantic thing.”
Track “I Don’t Want To” is equally special to Alessia, who wrote the entire album herself. She did, however, have the pleasure of working with Rick Knowles on ever-relatable track “Out of Love.”
“We got in a room together and it was one of those things that felt so cosmic and supernatural it came together so quickly,” she recalled of the recording process. “It’s about asking the person you love when they fell out of love with you ... [like] give us a glimmer of an answer … a lot of people have cried when I’ve played it for them, but I hope it’s a comfort cry,” she warned.
The Pains of Growing also features her current single “Trust My Lonely” and the overall message of the light at the end of the tunnel, which Alessia acknowledges in the track “Not Today.”
That said, “Not Today” is important to the songstress as well to express that it’s OK to be sad.
“‘Not Today’ I wrote about a specific time in my life that was not so happy,” she concluded. “It’s a song about a breakup which we know sucks and a bunch of poorly timed things. … When you’re in those periods, … people will tell you, 'One day this won’t matter anymore,' … and time does heal everything, but I think we forget to give ourselves time … and, for me, that was this song.”
She then closed out the show with the help of the audience, singing through tears 2015’s “Scars To Your Beautiful.”
The Pains of Growing drops Friday, November 30.
2. “Growing Pains”
3. “7 Days”
5. “I Don’t Want To”
6. “Out of Love”
7. “Trust My Lonely”
8. “Not Today”
9. “Scars to Your Beautiful”