Alessia Cara is one of the brightest new stars in music right now, but it took her years of hard work to get there. That hard work, more times than not, took place in the form of making and uploading YouTube cover videos.
Yes, like Justin Bieber before her, Cara was discovered on YouTube after posting several clips that showed off her impressive pipes. YouTube fame quickly turned into a full-fledged pop career: Cara released her first album, Know-It-All, in 2015, and she has a second one on the way. Her song with Zedd, “Stay,” was one of the most popular songs of 2017, reaching number seven on Billboard‘s Hot 100. Oh! And let’s not forget the fact she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2018. All of this stemmed from the groundwork she laid down on YouTube, dating as far back as 2011.
In many ways, these videos are like Cara’s yearbook photos, so she doesn’t revisit them often. That’s where we came in: Cara stopped by Glamour‘s office a few weeks ago, and we had her watch her old YouTube covers and give us some backstories. No surprise: She cringed several times.
“I hate this,” Cara said about her first cover video from 2011, in which she sang “Price Tag” by Jessie J. “I hate it so much! I’m playing the guitar 20 times louder than my voice. I’m just, like, strumming and screaming over the guitar.”
Watch Cara watch more of her own covers in the video, above.