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"Here" is the debut single by Canadian singer Alessia Cara. It is the lead single for her extended play (EP) Four Pink Walls (2015) and her debut album Know-It-All (2015). The song was released on April 30, 2015. Created around a sample of "Ike's Rap II" by Isaac Hayes from the album Black Moses, "Here" is about people who secretly hate parties. The song slowly gained popularity, and became Cara's first US Billboard Hot 100 chart entry debuting at number 95 for the week of August 22, 2015. It later became her first top five single on the chart and reached the top of the US Pop Songs chart after a historic 26-week climb. "Here" has charted in the top 40 in Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The official remix features American rapper Logic. The song was featured on the third season of the comedy-drama television series Younger.
Background and composition
While working on her debut album in 2014, Cara attended a house party. She told NME, "Everyone seemed to know each other, but not me. It was sweaty, there was a guy and girl passed out with vomit all over her, people were just stepping over them." The party caused her so much discomfort that she called her mother asking to take her home. Cara discussed the party with co-writer Sebastian Kole who then came up with the first line of the song. Her record label, Def Jam, initially persuaded her to release another song that was more friendly for radio, but Cara pushed for the release of "Here" as she felt the other song would not have made her stand out from other singers.
"Here" was met with critical acclaim by music critics, who praised the song's concept and lyrics. Rolling Stone ranked "Here" at number 21 on its year-end list of the 50 best songs of 2015.Billboard ranked "Here" at number six on its year-end list: "If Lordes 'Royals' was a rallying cry for those who felt isolated by the rampart materialism in pop culture, then Alessia Cara's 'Here' is the anthem for those fed up with the glut of pop songs about partying and drinking. Thanks to the teenage R&B singer, being an introvert is finally cool again." The prestigious Village Voice voted "Here" the 18th-best single released in 2015 on their annual year-end critics' poll, Pazz & Jop; the song is tied with Courtney Barnetts "Depreston".
An official lyric video of the song was released on her YouTube page on May 7, 2015. The official video was directed by Aaron A and was released on her YouTube page on May 26, 2015. The video uses the inspiration of how Cara wrote the song by having her at a party and being the only one moving while the party is frozen in time, while she's next to crowds of girls and guys drinking beer and gossiping. The visual effect of the frozen partygoers predated the viral Internet phenomenon Mannequin Challenge.