Here, the rising star of the JUNO Awards talks about self-acceptance, fighting the urge to seek external validation and what it was like to go viral with “Princesses Don’t Cry” on TikTok.
Aviva Mongillo, aka CARYS, had starred in projects like CBC’s Working moms, Far shot starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, and the popular Family Channel TV series Backstage, and working on her solo music career for several years when, in 2019, she planned to overhaul her image as a musician and create a new stage identity.
This plan was thwarted when Markham, Ont. The 2017 native song “Princesses Don’t Cry” suddenly went viral on TikTok, two years after its initial release. (He has since racked up over 71 million mind-blowing spins and counted, and peaked at No.2 on Spotfiy’s Global Viral Rankings.) This unexpected exposure forced CARYS to embrace who she was instead of trying to create a character. for herself. .
In the last opus of the JUNO Awards of its Rising Presented by TD series, a series of mini-documentaries on emerging Canadian talent, the 22-year-old To anyone like me the musician talks about giving up control, embracing his identity and learning to no longer seek external validation. Here, CARYS delves deeper into her personal journey to self-acceptance – and the joys of TikTok.
In the Rising Presented by TD video, you talk about choosing between a breakthrough and a setback. How did you learn to get out of your way?
Very slowly, haha. I think it’s a process. I don’t think I’m 100% out of my own way yet. With each new experience or opportunity, I challenge myself to do the most loving thing I can do and to be as loving as possible. Sometimes my fear of possible outcomes keeps me from just going in the moment, but I try to encourage myself every time I decide to get through it.
How did you react when TikTok’s sudden success around “Princesses Don’t Cry” threw a wrench into your plan to recreate your identity? How did you deal with this lack of control?
When something doesn’t go as planned for me, I panic a bit, even though it’s something as small as not doing my laundry when I said I was going to do my laundry. So on this much larger scale, I was afraid to let go of my plan. It was very vulnerable for me because I wasn’t aware that I was trying to play a character until I didn’t want the character to disappear, but this experience taught me a lot about letting go and confidence in the process. I was trying to write music for a character and now I am continually discovering parts of who I really am by writing music and I find that much more fulfilling.
You talk about feeling that sharing your work is like opening your journal to the world. What advice would you give to people who express themselves in the same way?
I always ask myself, “When I’m old and gray and looking back right now, what do I want the story to be?” That I let my fear stop me from pursuing what I wanted or that I did this leap of faith? And the answer to me is always obvious, but it’s never easy!
@ itsari.aleisePOV: you are my youngest brother and you are scared for your first prom but I support you❤️ ♬ Princesses Don’t Cry – CARYS
How do you feel today when you hear “Princesses Don’t Cry” on TikTok – has the excitement ever worn off?
I feel more and more excited over time. In a generation where it only takes 15 seconds to move on to the next trend, I am extremely grateful that so many people still support and love this song! I’ll never grow tired.
What’s your favorite thing about TikTok?
TikTok makes me feel less alone and makes me laugh so much. I love to see people share their stories; it made me feel more confident to do the same. I find myself saying “Do other people feel that too ?!” Thank you very much “. And I love stealing recipes from TikTok. I learned how to make fettuccine alfredo in quarantine and it was restaurant quality.
What was the experience of being in a larger Hollywood movie production like Far shot compared to a television production like Working moms?
I’ve always been a huge Seth Rogen fan so the thought of being on set with him intimidated and excited me! Once I was there it was super calm and fun and I just remember performing my lines 600 times trying to be as prepared as possible obviously wanting to make a good impression. I channeled my nerves into work all day and as soon as I got wrapped up I had a “holy shit” moment where I just became a fan-girl.
Isn’t looking for external validation something that you still have to work on sometimes? If so, how do you manage this urge?
Yes of course. I think it’s human nature to want validation from other humans. I take care of it by giving it to myself! I realized that I can be someone who needs validation and someone who can validate me at the same time.
Finally, what’s your favorite karaoke song of all time?
I don’t have an all-time favorite but I almost always pick a One Direction song.
Watch the full Rising Presented by TD mini-doc on CARYS here: