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Jul 21, 2017 | 8:00 PM | Friday
"Three years before I performed on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,' I visited NBC Studios with my high school drama club. We toured the 'Tonight Show' set. I remember the guide not letting me touch Jimmy's desk. So I ran to his monologue mark -- the
Start on : July 21, 2017 8:00 PM Friday
End on : July 21, 2017 11:00 PM Friday
"Three years before I performed on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,' I visited NBC Studios with my high school drama club. We toured the 'Tonight Show' set. I remember the guide not letting me touch Jimmy's desk. So I ran to his monologue mark -- the little X he stands on when he delivers the monologue -- and told myself 'I'm going to be here one day.' I shared this story with Jimmy when I first performed on his show. He walked me to the monologue mark and said, 'Alessia, you've made it.' It proved to me that all of my dreams are valid."
For once, Alessia Cara's voice betrays her; it breaks in the anecdote's retelling. And why not? The unassuming 20-year-old from Brampton, Ontario has captured the hearts and minds of listeners worldwide: four JUNO [Canadian Music Award] nominations in 2016, including a win for Breakthrough Artist of the Year; a tour with Coldplay; a performance with Taylor Swift after which Taylor proclaimed herself an Alessia fan; the cover of Billboard Magazine's Grammy issue; a 2016 AMA nomination for New Artist of the Year.
From drama club to the inner circle. From yearbooks to year-end Best Of lists. From wide-eyed high-schooler to blushing ingénue to reimagined pop star.
"It's kind of ironic," Alessia waxes, hours before she takes the stage at New York's iconic Radio City Music Hall -- a stop on her Know-It-All: Part 2 tour. "My pride in not having a brand has become my brand." Indeed, Alessia has found the most precious of spaces, the thing many artists agitate for their entire careers: a niche. She is, by her own admission, "a regular person who makes songs. There's nothing glamorous about me." Relatability has become her calling card, first imprinted by the improbable smash single, "Here."
The musings of a disenchanted teenage partygoer who longs not for popularity but for the couch and comfy clothes, "Here" struck a chord with fans delighted to see a kindred spirit elevated to star. On the song's genesis and the ethos of her debut album, 'Know-It-All': "As an unknown, I didn't kn