This time of year is often glittered with fresh festive music and replays of old classics that balance difficulties faced through the year with holiday cheer.
The year 2020, however, has been particularly challenging, as the world continues to battle a pandemic, and social and political tensions have been consistently high. A year with this many unprecedented challenges deserves festive music that reminds every person that, together, we can come out of this year stronger.
That’s exactly what Alessia Cara’s new surprise EPHoliday Stuff does. With it’s easy-going pace and jazz feel, it’s a stunning addition to this year’s Christmas playlist.
The stripped down version of her song, “Make it to Christmas” ― which was originally released last year ― doesn’t just feel like a song that speaks to couples trying to make it through the festive season, rather the new slowed down version of the lyrics, “Christmastime… Everything will be alright… If we just hold on,” feels like an ode to the difficult year that has been.
Cara has long been a self-love advocate and believes in taking care of yourself in a world that often doesn’t feel accepting to everyone. This is a message that has always been needed, but feels a lot more prevalent this year. That’s why we can’t wait to enjoy Alessia Cara’s performance during the Global Citizen Prize award ceremony, as it streams and airs around the world from Dec. 19.
The ceremony will celebrate incredible activists and leaders who have worked tirelessly this year towards uplifting communities, achieving the UN’s Global Goals and ending extreme poverty. Wherever you are in the world, you can catch the award ceremony ― with performances from Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo, and Tori Kelly ― broadcast and streamed around the world from Dec. 19, and can find global details on how to watch, here.
The Global Citizen Prize ceremony won’t be the first time that Cara’s performed for Global Citizens, and in 2017 the young artist brought her brand of inspiring pop music to the Global Citizen Festival with a strong reminder to the audience that being yourself is truly okay.
“Never be afraid to challenge people and show people why you are worth it and why you are worth all the love in the world,” Cara said in introduction to her self-love anthem, “Scars to Your Beautiful”.
Through her performances, Cara sends out the important message to the audience that whoever you are should be okay with the rest of the world, and that you shouldn’t wait for the world to accept you in order for you to accept yourself.
In an interview with Newsweek the artist said: “I think the world is very closed-minded sometimes and very dated. We need to start opening our minds. Beauty comes in all forms, it's not just external, it's internal as well.”
Cara is a self-proclaimed feminist and has consistently advocated for girls to embrace their differences and insecurities. With the release of “Scars to Your Beautiful” in 2016, Cara worked with a campaign called I AM THAT GIRL, to inspire girls to love themselves and celebrate who they are no matter what the world says.
The singer has also used her voice to speak out about mental health. In 2017, she was featured on rapper Logic’s suicide prevention anthem, "1-800-273-8255", named after the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The song encouraged those in need of help, especially young people, to seek it, and reminded them that they are not alone.
She also took the time to emphasize that it’s okay not to feel okay in an interview with Paper Magazine, saying: “I've realized over time feeling a certain way doesn't mean you're not grateful for the things that are positive, it just means that you're still figuring out the things that are negative. It means you're human.”
Cara has also used her social media platforms to amplify several humanitarian causes, from mental health, to food and hunger, to Black Lives Matter. The artist understands the importance of raising awareness for meaningful causes that work towards creating a fair, just, and equal world.
Join Global Citizen on December 19, 2020, to celebrate the leaders among us who have stepped up against a backdrop of unprecedented global challenges to take action for the world we want — a world that is fair, just, and equal.
The broadcast and digitally streamed award ceremony will also feature inspirational stories of human strength and unforgettable performances that will bring together artists, activists, and global leaders to remind each of us that, together, we will come out of this year stronger. Find out more about the Global Citizen Prize here.