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Studying Alessia Cara's Vocals WK3

Studying Alessia Cara's Vocals WK3


From analysing Alessia's voice on her first single release 'Here' in 2015 and her earliest available live recording on the Ellen Show, we know that she is pretty comfortable with her unique sound she curated. Noticing that even though her vocals showed maturity from mimicking artists like Amy Winehouse and some other greats, the lack of experience in performing live at the Ellen Show reminded us that she was still a new and fresh artist breaking out.

Today, we will see how she has grown with her recent live recording for a charity event.

The first few things that stood out from this live recording:


Beautiful starting energy level. Once of the few things I pointed out with this song in her original tracks was that she started with a mid energy level. This option leaves you two choices, go down in dynamics or bring it higher and with these choices it will exhaust the effects of dynamics quicker than if you could start from a lower energy level and bring the listeners on the journey to travel up with you.

Let's observe the different levels of dynamics and how the instruments played a part in helping the distinction of contrast.

Compared the stancer by stancer.


Notice how she came in with a 'smooth' attack on the note. No longer the original 'glottal' attack which potrayed a certain distain and aggression. With a different tone comes a different interpretation and as an artist singing the same song over and over again, it is okay if you have different interpretations when you perform. That is the part where I feel as an artist, you can choose what you want to paint for your audience to see, that is the creative part where the limit never reaches it's end. The combinations of vocal choices paired up with your message and intention gives and old song new life.

She stays close to her original melody.

In 0:45, Alessia brings back her 'glottal' attack to give it a natural emphasis, as if marching forward. Somehow if you compare this 'glottal' attack to her original track it is less prominent. So even with these attacks, there is a scale on which you can instensify your choice of attacks. That in itself is a pretty amazing discovery. I would have never thought of scaling your attacks, now I would give myself the option to do so.

She introduces variations to the melody, throwing in SOME inconsistencies to keep her listeners interested. Alessia does not rush into this, instead she gives it space and is a little behind the beat but this arrangement is made for that. Giving her room to lead vocally, which shows the chemistry and musicality of her instrumentalists.


In this live recording, the introduction started off with the violins swelling with the guitar as rhythm and a distinct staccato countdown for a soothing verse 1 starts off with a gentle strum of the guitarl. A much softer approach with the intention of a build up from the beautiful swelling of the strings from the violins building up to the pre-chorus.

The bass and drums are introduced at 0:45 giving a fuller feel to the step. The violin and piano starts lightly comping creating a light build up to the next verse which brings a contrast back down to just the guitar again but only for a short while.


You can see the drastic difference in approach and the various in the Live version that allowed her to explore other options rather than being stuck in the same vocal dynamics that does not allow your voice to travel. When you cover a song or wrtie one, learn from this case study. Don't trap yourself in a mid level dynamic bubble that does not allow you to bring the listeners on a more scenic route. Our voice is meant to storytell, explore your own vocal potential to see what it is capable of before you make a judgement on it.



What she is up to now and other mentionable covers she has done?

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