Brampton-based songstress Alesia Cara just released her sophomore Album The Pains of Growing and she’s done what many pop stars these days can’t — she was the principal writer for every single song.

The 15-song album addresses some deep pains and experiences Cara has had over the past couple of years growing into adulthood. While some songs are deceivingly upbeat, they open the door into Cara’s struggles and growth as a person.

“If the song is a bit more gloomy, and the production matches, that’s cool. But sometimes I like contrast. I like having sadder lyrics with a more hopeful, up-tempo melody—and vice versa. Sometimes if a song is a little too miserable, I like to lift it up a bit,” Cara told Vanity Fair.

“7 Days”, the politically charged 4th track on the album, examines what God must think of the current state of humanity, and the role social media plays in society’s problems.

“I wrote this song during a time which I feel like is still going on when you could not turn on social media or the news without seeing something frustrating,” she says. “[I took] that concept that God created the earth in seven days and I wanted to ask God if we’re worth those seven days.”

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In “Out of Love” a piano number reminiscent of Alicia Keys, Cara examines the give and take of relationships.

Despite the struggles expressed through the lyrics, Cara offers an optimism for the future in tracks like “Trust My Lonely”.

Not only did Cara rack up a bunch of songwriting credits on the album, but she also has the sole production credit on two tracks  “A Little More” and “I Don’t Want To.”

On her decision to be so open and vulnerable this album Cara told Vanity Fair that “I want [listeners] to get more insight into who I am. A lot of people think that I’m just constantly happy and always socially conscious and always preaching something. It can be a good thing, but I’m not always that way. I have a lot of issues and emotions I haven’t always touched upon.”

Sources – Vanity Fair