Alessia Cara Performs ‘Here,’ ‘Wild Things,’ Covers The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ for On Air with Ryan Seacrest

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It’s time to get acquainted with rising artist Alessia Cara, a newly-signed Def Jam artist who is capturing the attention of music buffs with her sleeper hit “Here.”

Alessia, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from the northwestern suburb of Toronto, came up with the concept for the outsider cut during a studio session she booked as an unsigned artist with a producer and her co-writer Sebastian Cole. For the track, she cited a real party she had attended the night before and decided to paint a picture of the discomfort she experienced.

“Basically what happened at this party was pure awkwardness, pure not knowing what to do with myself or not knowing how to talk to people,” she tells On Air with Ryan Seacrest during an exclusive unplugged acoustic set (watch above). “I just hated it, so I went home early. Actually, I called my mom to come pick me up.”

In the same vein as the socially-anxious “Here,” Alessia wrote “Wild Things,” an anthem for outsiders to embrace their uniqueness and to dismiss the pressure of fitting in with the status quo.

“It’s about self-acceptance and kind of saying ‘I don’t need to be this great, amazing person, or this smart person, or this popular person to still feel cool about myself,’” she explains. “And for all the people who don’t really feel like they have a place, we can make our own place.”

Alessia, who also performed an acoustic rendition of The Weeknd‘s “Can’t Feel My Face” (watch below), has already received praise from industry heavyweights Shawn Mendes, Tove Lo, and Lorde, the latter also an opponent of the status quo whose music skyrocketed to the stratosphere with the release of “Royals.”

For more Information on Alessia, get acquainted with the artist by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “Here” is also available for download on iTunes now here!