Review: Alessia Cara at Electric Brixton

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Last week Ontario’s own Alessia Cara gave the performance of a lifetime at one of South London’s most eclectic live venues, Electric Brixton.

In a recent NME interview, Cara declared, “I’m not a fashion model, I’m a singer. If my performance is good what does it matter what I’m wearing?” An opinion not entirely invalid as she took to the stage in jeans, a black jacket and some questionably bright Nike trainers – and rightly so, sounded as flawless as ever.

Introduced to the stage by her stellar support acts, including Arrow Benjamin, otherwise known as the man who features alongside the one and only Beyonce on Naughty Boy’s smash hit ‘Running’, and Canadian singer-songwriter Craig Stickland (not to be confused with country singer Craig Strickland, though the similarities were oddly unnerving).

Arrow Benjamin delighted fans with a solo rendition of the track ‘Running’ as well as his latest single ‘Love And Hate’, which perfectly paved the way for Stickland to swoop in with a number of soulful hits off of his latest album, Leave Me To The Wild.

Cara indulged the audience with a number of tracks off of her debut album, Know It All, playing a selection including ‘Wild Things’, ‘Overdose’, and ‘Seventeen’ all encompassed in a sort of ruthless energy, before slowing things down to make way for a number of acoustic versions of ‘Stone’ and ‘River of Tears’. It was these performances that created a sense of community within Cara’s audience as she urged her fans to look beyond the action of pin-pointing their flaws and choose rather to embrace them. Addressing the relatively cliché nature of her requests, Cara went on to promote the movement of female empowerment, dedicating her track ‘Scars to Your Beautiful’ to women everywhere, as she hopes to speak out against the brain-washing of today’s young women.

She continued the evening much like an expose into the life of Alessia. Taking her audience on a journey of personal reflection as she enlightened them with the anecdotes behind each song on her album, detailing her desire to “avoid the in-crowd” as she revealed in her latest single, ‘Wild Things’, that “the cool kids aren’t cool to me”.

Finally, she completed her set with the song we had all been waiting for. The ultimate ironic party anthem for like-minded teenagers everywhere: ‘Here’. The track can be labelled as a mantra for Cara’s fellow introverts, as it describes the usual settings found at just about any house party and offers a thoroughly unconventional view of such an event, questioning, “I ask myself, what am I doing here?”.  It perfectly describes the thoughts of anyone that regrettably attended an event against their predetermined speculations, which is what makes it such a relatable offering and, topped off with Cara’s effortlessly cool vocals, it was without a doubt the perfect way to round off a truly inclusive performance.

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Head of Relations for The Edge and Fashion Marketing student at Southampton University. P.S. I tweet - a lot (@naviwbu)

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