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Alanis Morissette

  • Canadian musician
  • Born June 1, 1974

Alanis Nadine Morissette (; born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two mildly successful dance-pop albums. Afterwards, as part of a recording deal, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles and in 1995 released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work.


There was a period of time during the 'Jagged Little Pill' era where I don't think I laughed for about two years. It was a survival mode, you know. It was an intense, constant, chronic over-stimulation and invasion of energetic and physical literal space.




It's when someone has an agenda of their own for the record that it doesn't work for me.




I'd rather talk to people about their personal spiritual practices or what they believe love is. I'm born to do that. Could I enter into the political realm and dive into that? Sure, but I don't think I would want to do that.




I happen to be lucky in that I knew what I wanted to do as far as a career since I was nine years old.




I'm doing it because I choose it. And if it's not working, I can make a change.




Typically I go in the studio and whatever I'm contemplating that day will wind up being a song. I don't come in with lyrics... I just go in and let it happen.




I thought the more famous I became, the more friendships I would have, but the opposite was true.




Europe seems a little softer, but in America it's harsh. In L.A., where I live, it's all about perfectionism.




In 1995, I was thrust into the role of reluctant, flag-waving feminist and emotionally-focused artist/advocate.




America's a very traumatized society.

America's a very traumatized society.




There's a continuity between what I care about in any form: I care about it in my music, in article-writing, in how I dress, in how I live, in my relationships, in how I navigate paparazzi, how I decorate my home. There's such a continuity between everything that I don't really care what form it shows up in.




As a kid, I was listening to Aretha Franklin, Etta James and hip-hop as well as music my parents were listening to, like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.




My greatest environments in which I can grow, or grow up, is in personal romantic relationships with a man.




I love songs that are very autobiographical.




I see the whole concept of Generation X implies that everyone has lost hope.




Down the road, I'll probably have a kid or two or three. And there will probably be political events or spiritual things to comment on, and humor.




And if I had a preference, it would be to be able to not be in the studio until 4 in the morning.




I didn't have high self-esteem when I was a teen-ager, as I think most teen-agers don't.




I can't not write, if I don't then I get really depressed.




I'll be writing records until I'm dead, whether people like it or not!




I think some fans want everything to stay they same because they want to stay the same.




I live with some of my best friends from high school, very commune-like, in my house. It's my hippie way of life.




My own approach has always been to push intense emotions down and attempt to deal with them later.




Trauma happens in relationships, so it can only be healed in relationships. Art can't provide healing. It can be cathartic and therapeutic but a relationship is a three-part journey.




I'm really clear about what my life mission is now. There's no more depression or lethargy, and I feel like I've returned to the athlete I once was. I'm integrating all the parts of me - jock, musician, writer, poet, philosopher - and becoming stronger as a result.




The people that were invested in me staying the same way after a decade will most likely by default have to be disappointed.




I'm a liability to them - I'm a woman, I'm empowered, I'm an artist. I've had executives who can't come to my shows they're so scared of me. I've been a thorn in many people's sides just by existing.




Fame is hollow. It amplifies what is there. If there is any self-doubt, or hatred, or lack of ability to connect with people, fame will magnify it.




I think some people think I'm a smarty-pants. Some people think I'm intense, some people think I'm super-esoteric and nuts.




I get angry at myself for staying in relationships way too long.




It's not just the 'Grammys' that I've pulled out of. I also pulled out of the English awards as well. The reason that I wanted to pull out was because I believe very much that the music industry as a whole is mainly concerned with material success.




The ego is a fascinating monster.

The ego is a fascinating monster.




You live, you learn.




They're different kinds of challenges depending upon what phase of life I'm in.




My greatest achievement is being able to write records that are real snapshots of what's going on in my life. I won't repeat myself for the sake of commerce, or to please other people.




But once I acclimated and really used fame for what it was offering me as a tool to serve my life purpose of inspiring and contributing, then it started to get fun again.



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