Alessia Cara shares open letter on her Grammy win and insecurity

The singer took on the “apparent backlash” after she won Best New Artist.

to address the apparent backlash regarding winning something I had no control over: I didn’t log onto grammy.com and submit myself. that’s not how it works. I didn’t ask to be submitted either because there are other artists that deserve the acknowledgment. but I was nominated and won and I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, not to mention have worked really hard for. I meant everything I said about everyone deserving the same shot. there is a big issue in the industry that perpetuates the idea that an artist’s talent and hard work should take a back seat to popularity and numbers. and I’m aware that my music wasn’t released yesterday, I’m aware that, yes, my music has become fairly popular in the last year. but I’m trying very hard to use the platform I’ve been given to talk about these things and bring light to issues that aren’t fair, all while trying to make the most of the weird, amazing success I’ve been lucky enough to have. I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offence to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck. here’s something fun! I’ve been thinking I suck since I was old enough to know what sucking meant. I’ve beat u to it. And that’s why this means a lot to me. despite my 183625 insecurities, I’ve been shown that what I’ve created is worth something and that people actually give a shit. all of the years feeling like I wasn’t good at anything or that I was naive for dreaming about something improbable have paid off in a way that I have yet to process. I know it sounds cheesy and dumb but it’s the honest truth. thanks to everyone who’s shown me kindness and support along the way. I’ll stop talking now.

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Alessia Cara beat out SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, Khalid, and Julia Michaels to win the Best New Artist award at the 2018 Grammys on Sunday evening. On Monday afternoon, the singer/songwriter shared an Instagram post "to address the apparent backlash" to her win. Read her letter above via Pitchfork.

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Cara writes that while she did not ask for her music to be submitted for consideration, "I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, not to mention have worked really hard for." She also reaffirmed the closing message in her acceptance speech urging support for "real music and real artists" from within the music industry. "There is a big issue in the industry that perpetuates the idea that an artist’s talent and hard work should take a back seat to popularity and numbers," Cara wrote.

At the end of her letter, Cara gets frank about her struggles with insecurity, and how it's being tested after her Grammy win. "I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offence to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck," she wrote. "I’ve been thinking I suck since I was old enough to know what sucking meant. I’ve beat u to it. And that’s why this means a lot to me. despite my 183625 insecurities, I’ve been shown that what I’ve created is worth something and that people actually give a shit."

Cara was the only female of the evening to win in a major category. In an interview after the ceremony, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said women who want to be nominated need to "step up."

Thumbnail photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for NARAS

January 29, 2018
Alessia Cara shares open letter on her Grammy win and insecurity