Anjali Sundaram is a senior and this is her third year as a Newspaper reporter. Writing in general is her passion whether it's News or fiction, and is the one place that gives her peace. Alongside Newspaper she is involved in a number of activities in and out of school, such as DECA, Spanish club, Stu. Co, and she is the Ambassador TEDxYouth@Austin. Her goals continue to be printed in the New York Times, a published novelist, and to employ her writings to help those in need while changing the world. She also wants to go to college.
96.7 invades CP for the third time with Alessia Cara
November 3, 2015
Cheers could be heard throughout the stadium, chanting, “Alessia, Alessia, Alessia.” The crowd is pumped and the energy is vibrating throughout the air as students wait for the 19-year-old singer to grace the stage. Finally, the room erupts in cheers and Alessia Cara finally graces the stage.
This year, for the third time in a row, CPHS has won Kiss FM’s High School Invasion contest. Winning the contest includes, having a singer-already picked by Kiss FM to ‘invade’ our school during DEN and play a selected amount of songs. Junior Mandi Bosse explains why she thinks CPHS gets lucky with winning this competition.
“We keep winning because from what 96.7 tells us, we are the clear true winner,” Bosse said. “Every year we always do our best and vote fairly without cheating and they notice that. Our integrity is what 96.7 like’s to see, and that’s what puts us in first place, aside from the other schools getting disqualified for cheating.”
In past years, students voted on Kiss FM’s website however, allegedly, because of cheating with automatic systems, Kiss FM changed this year’s voting process by asking students to send a tweet saying: “I want @alessiacara to invade CPHS with @967kissfm #kissfminvadessweepstakes.”
“The voting process changed because the website was too easy to cheat on,” Bosse said. “Moving to Twitter gave them a better opportunity to catch the cheaters or the spam accounts, and it got to give a face to the voters so 96.7 could see who was actually passionate about this contest and their school spirt. It gave the contest heart and also let you compare votes to other schools to see who was probably winning.”
For the past three years, CPHS has seen three performers: Tegan and Sara, EchoSmith and on Monday Oct. 19, Alessia Cara invaded our school during DEN, making students late to their second period classes. Another junior, Shelby Rhoden conveys her reaction to winning for the third time and her experience during each concert.
“Winning High School Invasion for the third year in a row was not surprise,” Rhoden said. “Cedar Park is very competitive and losing for us is never an option. Over the past three years I have been here, each concert has been really good, so I can’t pick a favorite. Each concert had a song I think everyone enjoyed and could relate too.”
Sophomore Katherine Sychev also communicates her love for the singer and her experience.
“I loved how she kept the energy going, and how positive she was,” Sychev said. “In addition her voice was stunning and her personality was great. I also enjoyed when she sang ‘Here.’”
Rhoden and Sychev weren’t the only ones that were fascinated with Cara, senior Danny Mahoney articulates what it was like meeting her in person.
“The best part of meeting her was probably her beautiful personality and she’s really down to earth, because she’s our age,” Mahoney said. “She’s just awesome.”
Mahoney, who is a sport’s anchor for The WolfCast got a unique opportunity to meet one on one with Cara, along with other WolfCast students, as she toured the Broadcast department, creating some inimitable memories.
“She’s super cool, she tweeted at me and also put me in her Instagram bio,” Mahoney said, “That was pretty cool and she came into the broadcast room and my name was on the teleprompter so her and Zac Dylan from 96.7 were saying my name back and forth, so they were like, “Oh I am Danny Mahoney,” and Dylan was all, “I am also Danny Mahoney,” and then they said, “We are Danny Mahoney,” so they laughed and I tweeted and I was like hey thanks for being Danny Mahoney and she was all “I Danny Mahoney was honored to be there” and I thought: you are so beautiful.”
Like many stars before her, her voice captured the heart of Def Jam Recordings, through her YouTube channel. Her initial YouTube channel name was: alealeluia, which currently just comprises of a cover of her single “Here” by Shawn Parrotte. Cara explains her start and the path that led her to YouTube.
“So what got me started was, I think that I have always just loved music but I was just scared to perform but then as I got older I got less shy to do it in front of people,” Cara said. “I would always get really scared and shy to do it, so as I got older I started getting less shy and posting onto YouTube was my way of getting there, you know getting past that little hurdle of shyness, and that really helped me get my voice out there and then I started doing talent shows at schools and things like that and it helped me a lot.”
Cara also expresses her gratitude towards the social media site, and the path it has created for her.
“Well, [having a YouTube channel] was the reason that I kind of got discovered by my production company, they saw a video of mine and that’s how everything got started, so it definitely was a multipurpose entity,” Cara said.
The signage with her production company definitely cemented her fate, as her single “Here” is what she is best known for and has topped charts throughout the world as well as gaining support from A List stars such as Ellen DeGeneres and Taylor Swift. The single “Here” is off of her debut album “Four Pink Walls” which launches on Nov. 15.
“So the meaning behind that [“Four Pink Walls”] is taken from the song called “Four Pink Walls” on the EP and it’s the last song, and I wrote it really recently, a couple months ago and it’s just about my life in contrast to how it used to be a couple of years ago,” Cara said. “I would always stare at the same four pink walls in my bedroom, and I would do nothing with my time, but I was inspired to do all these things [writing music, performing, etc.], I just was always kind of stuck in my room alone not really doing much. Now that I am doing the opposite of that, it’s just a huge contrast because all the things that I have been dreaming about are actually happening and that kind of represents what’s going on in my life now so that’s why I wrote that.”
Her life has definitely taken a turn for the better, as she has performed not only on Jimmy Fallon, but Austin’s own ACL. Cara talks about her experience on both stages and the impact it has made on her life.
“ACL was one of them actually [one of the most memorable shows] because it was such a small stadium and I wasn’t sure how many people were going to show up because there was a whole bunch of other artists, like big artists performing at the same time so I wasn’t expecting too much,” Cara said. “Then all these people just flooded in and they knew the words and it was really surprising to me. I also did this show in Washington D.C. which was really awesome, because it was my first encore, and they wanted me back on stage, which was great. I also was on the Jimmy Fallon show, I wasn’t being interviewed but it was my performance and I really liked it. It was so amazing, he was so nice, and everybody was so nice.”
ACL wasn’t the only memorable part about her journey in Austin, Cara explains her excitement about the beauty of Austin.
“The last time I was here, my hotel was so beautiful,” Cara said. “There was like this walkway that I could just walk around and see this big arch and it was amazing, it was so beautiful here and I don’t want to say that I didn’t expect it, cause I knew that it was going to be pretty, but I didn’t know that it was this beautiful.”
However, after her departure from Austin and CPHS, Cara’s career has definitely sky-rocketed. Since her performance on CP, she has rocked the stage at the Ellen DeGeneres’s show and Taylor Swift’s 1989 concert.
Though, before she sang “Here” with T-Swift in front of 55,000 people, Cara mentions all the people she would love to collaborate with.
“I love Amy Winehouse,” Cara said. “Obviously I can’t collaborate with her anymore, but she’s amazing, I love her, I love Drake, I love Ed Sheeran, Frank Ocean, a whole bunch of people, and I would love to collaborate with them. Lorde even would be awesome.”
As her career continues to gain momentum, Cara talks about where she wants to be in ten years and her hopes for the journey.
“I hope to honestly still be doing this, I think,” Cara said. “I just want to improve, I don’t know where I am going to be, but I hope that I just get better at what I am doing as a songwriter, as a singer, and as a performer and just keep building whatever this is that I built so far.”
As the interview wrapped up, Cara left with some sobering advice to anyone that struggles with putting their self out there and/or following their dreams.
“The first thing you think about when you’re scared of putting yourself out there is probably what the reactions of other people are going to be and once you do that, that’s when everything locks up and that’s when you stop yourself,” Cara said. “So the biggest thing for me, I think everyone can kind of do, is just block out the idea of what other people are going to think and just worry about what you want to do and not worry about the opinions of others because that will definitely give you a head start. Just do what you love and do what makes you happy, because if you’re not happy then it’s going to suck.”