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Alessia Cara Becomes the Life of the Party

Singer Alessia Cara was never one for the party scene. When she expressed that sentiment in her song "Here," it instantly became a viral anti-party anthem. Cara's debut album is called Know-It-All, and it all started at a disappointing house party.

"It just felt so uncomfortable, and I just realized that I'm not good with parties because there's nothing for me there and I feel like there's just no point," Cara says. "Like, what are we celebrating? Like, what are we doing here, you know?"

So Cara did what any sensible teenager would do: She called her mom to pick her up: "I just went home," Cara says, "and then made this song the day after."

"Here" is an anti-party anthem with all the makings of a song you'd hear at a party. Before her Def Jam record deal and performance alongside The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Cara was a quiet high-school kid who spent a lot of time in her room. She recorded songs in her closet on a laptop and uploaded videos on YouTube. That's how she got discovered.

"It's so crazy to me," she says. "Just the fact that I'm saying like, 'Yeah, I remember when I used to do this.' It was literally, like, not even a year ago."

Cara is 19 now, and she says she already feels nostalgic for those days. The song "Four Pink Walls" is an ode to her very first studio — her room back home.

"You know how you make up scenarios in your head of how things are going to go? That's all I had, so I just remember having fake interviews with myself about albums that didn't exist," she says. "Ha, like, selling out huge stadiums and doing things that were completely — seemingly unrealistic. But now I realize nothing is unrealistic anymore."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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