Alessia Cara Reflects On Growing Up In 'Extremely Traditional' Italian Family

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Alessia Cara has reflected on growing up in an “extremely traditional” Italian family in Brampton, Ont.

“That comes with a lot,” she told Billboard. “I was never really allowed to do much, so a lot of my life was school to home; didn’t have a lot of friends, wasn’t allowed to go out with the friends that I did have. Wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers and stuff.”

Cara, 25, said when she told her family about her music dreams, there was “pushback in the beginning” from her parents.

“Of course, they wanted me to go to school and have a job that was more solid,” she recalled.

Cara made a deal, telling them: “If I don’t get signed or if there is no sign of a little bit of success in a year than I’ll go back to school and go to university of college and pursue something else.”

Luckily, she was signed to a record deal and found herself writing her debut album while attending Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School.

In a separate interview with Billboard, Cara talked about how she spent the lockdown working on her new album In The Meantime and reflecting on life.

“You're stuck in this halt, and everything is forced to stop, and you're not doing so much of what you place your importance on, for a whole year,” she explained. “We place so much of our identity or where we go and what we do for a living, and when that was gone, I was like, ‘What am I left with? Who am I without this? What's the point of anything?’

“It was a weird, dark, strange time, as I imagine it was for all of us, but personally for me as well.”

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