Alessia Cara: 'I was an outsider just like my young fans'

Singer Alessia Cara loves the fact she's a role model for awkward outsiders - because she was one.

The 20-year-old admits she was never the cool kid at school and struggled to fit in.

"I’ve always been self-conscious about my personality," she tells J-14 magazine. "I was a really awkward person, even as a kid; I didn’t have many friends."

So she turned to art and music as an escape from the pressures of high school, and spent years perfecting her songwriting alone in her bedroom.

"My songs are about being yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin," the Seventeen singer adds. "You don't always have to be popular and do things everyone else is doing.

"Realize that everyone that you think is perfect feels like they’re not good enough, too. Instead of worrying so much about how you appear to others, focus on the important things. We all just need to love ourselves and believe in ourselves."