Music

Meet Alex Porat, the YouTube cover artist who is ready for pop stardom

The Toronto singer talks to host Saroja Coelho in the first episode of CBC Music's The Radar.

The Toronto singer talks to host Saroja Coelho in the first episode of CBC Music's The Radar

Toronto singer Alex Porat gained millions of views on YouTube for her covers of pop songs. Now she's ready for the world to hear her own songs. (Courtesy of Alex Porat)

Update: CBC Music has launched a new series called CBC Music's The Intro, which brings essential emerging Canadian talent to the world. The series was originally produced under the name CBC Music's The Radar but changed in respect of the work of other content makers in the space. You can learn more about The Intro here.


Alex Porat has spent almost half her life uploading music to her YouTube channel. Over the years, the 22-year-old's emotive covers of big pop songs have amassed over 95 million views, but her breakout moment came in 2018 when Canadian star Shawn Mendes watched her cover of his song, "In my Blood." He called the clip "awesome" and her performance of his hit single "perfect." Around that same time, her version of Calum Scott's "You are the Reason" earned her an additional 25 million views. 

Shortly after blowing up on her YouTube channel in 2018, Porat turned a corner and started writing and recording her own music. Her most recent releases are pure pop perfection — shiny tunes about navigating modern relationships like dealing with an ex on social media or filling the void of loneliness in a relationship. There's a sadness in Porat's lyrics that contrasts beautifully with her crystalline voice and buoyant beats. 

In CBC Music's inaugural episode of The Radar, which brings essential emerging Canadian talent to the world, CBC Music Mornings' Saroja Coelho talks to Porat about performing covers, writing original music and the stigma of YouTube stars. Porat also performs two of her songs, "Happy for You" and "Only Hanging out Cause I'm Lonely." 

Watch the full episode below. Episodes of The Radar will be released weekly on CBC Gem, CBC Music's YouTube channel and here on cbc.ca/music.

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