Alessia Cara my be young, but the singer is certainly one of the stand-out names on this year’s RodeoHouston music lineup, which is scheduled to take place at Houston’s NRG Stadium from Feb.27 - March 18 this year. The 21-year-old certainly has the talent and composure to hold her own as part of a stacked lineup that also includes popular artists like Little Big Town, J Balvin, Blake Shelton and Kelsea Ballerini to name a few. Since taking the big step up the mainstream ladder a little over two years ago from her DIY beginnings as a YouTube artist, Cara has gone on to headline venues like New York’s Radio City Music Hall, to more recently taking home the Grammy for Best New Artist.
Cara will take the RodeoHouston stage on March 4, and she’ll have a handful of dance-worthy tracks to pull from when deciding on what her setlist for the evening will look like. With her performance at the annual event now less than a month away, here are 5 songs that fans should hope to hear from Cara when she takes the stage in front of the largest rodeo event on the planet.
“Here” was the song that Cara arrived with as her first real breakout hit a few years back. The smooth song launched the young singer onto the pop radar with her mix of R&B vocal and hip-hop talents, and she didn’t slip once in delivering a fantastic performance that is somewhat reminiscent of a young Alicia Keys singing “Fallin’.” Regardless of how long and successful Cara’s career goes on to be, she’ll always have her first big song in that back pocket of hers.
Electronic-based music might not be the first genre choice for a rodeo show deep in the heart of Texas, but Cara’s 2017 collaboration with Zedd is too catchy not to include in the setlist that night. "Stay" isn’t really that electronic as far as its overall makeup is concerned compared to other styles of the popular genre. Sure, it's not quite the traditional R&B sound that Cara’s fans love, but it keeps her in a vocal comfort zone where she doesn’t have to over-extend her range or ability to keep up with the track’s production.
3. "Wild Things"
“Wild Things” is another one of Cara’s songs that’s strong enough to take on multiple personalities, most notably through all the single’s remix versions. It’s a fiercely independent song, where Cara stands up for her fellow pioneers, rebels and wild things. “We're fine all by ourselves,” is just one of the song's best lyrical lines, which stands firmly without any help from anyone but her. If Cara were to claim one song in her catalogue that represents the independence and confidence of her generation, it’s “Wild Things.”
4. “Scars To Your Beautiful”
Fans could consider Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful” as this generation’s version of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” The anthem perfectly captures Cara's desire to move past physical limitations and misconceptions set forth by what is presumably an awful standard for being a young woman these days. The expectations which today’s teenagers have set upon themselves through social media and online bullying has to be the absolute worst. “Scars To Your Beautiful” is Cara’s answer to a generation that has stepped up (or down) its game on what being attractive really means. There will presumably be plenty of teenagers in the audience for her performance next month, and it is important when someone of her stature can get up on stage and shut down today’s ridiculously unoriginal beauty standards.
5. “How Far I’ll Go”
This may be a movie soundtrack tune, but it has firmly established itself as Cara’s own since being released as part of the Moana soundtrack in 2016. The song was penned by Broadway’s current king in Lin-Manuel Miranda, and initially performed in the movie by the film’s voice actress Auli'i Cravalho. Cara’s version still impressively stands on its own however, and thanks to its family-friendly makeup, has expanded the reach of her marketability further than any hit song on FM radio could have. If Aerosmith can still make it work singing “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” on stage each night, then so can Cara.