You Oughta Know: Alanis Morissette Won Last Night’s Juno Awards

We fell in love with Alanis Morissette last night even more than when Jagged Little Pill was the only CD we’d put in our Discman.

The 40-year-old was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 44th annual Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario.

She also closed the show out with an unforgettable medley performance of Uninvited, You Oughta Know, and Thank You that reminded us why her music was so addictive in the first place.

And judging from the screaming teeny bopping fans on the red carpet, Alanis’s music is just as trans-generational now as it was back in the day.

Speaking of back in the day, according to the album’s co-writer, Glen Ballard, it turns out each song on Jagged Little Pill was written in just one day – over a 20-day time period.

That’s not a bad three-week stretch considering its global success.

“When we wrote it, we didn’t have a record deal – we didn’t even think we were making a record. We were just having fun and recording stuff and we had a hard time getting people to sign it,” said Ballard. “Every label passed it up. It’s important for everyone to understand that we were working in our own lonely place and nobody was paying attention to us, nobody wanted to hear from us, but that’s the best way to do it. There’s no expectation or anticipation.”

Here’s what you oughta know about Alanis from the pressroom at the Junos.

On Fellow Canadian Artists:
“I think I never need to worry about Canadians as writers – we’re a story-telling, confessional, autobiographical bunch by default. I think that as a country, we’re very socially considerate and socially and politically aware. In general, the news covers planetary conversations, as opposed to singular, rationalistic conversations.” 

“As artists, I don’t have to worry, because there is such a wealth of powerful, unique, empowered, emotional people…I was having a manicure yesterday and I just looked around and thought that these are people who are deeply heartful and soulful just by default. It’s lovely to be back.”

On Her Song Writing:
“Any self deprecating moment, I am always going to give a big heads up to.”

On the Success of You Oughta Know:
“I have no idea (what made it so successful). I actually barely have an idea. I think perhaps it was this convergence of a time where people were ready to hear really autobiographical, vulnerable music. I happened to be on the crust of a wave that was already happening, so I just grabbed by surf board and went for it….I think people were excited about how authentic it was and that it was so vulnerable and beautifully pathetic, but powerful at the same time. That’s who we are as humans. We’re vulnerable and powerful and magical all at once, so it may have encompassed all of that – but I have absolutely no idea.”

On the Impact of Jagged Little Pill and Changing as an Artist…
“At the time, I had this egocentric perception of myself that I was the only one going through these trials and tribulations and I was deeply lonely in this existential crisis that I was going through and I wrote about it. Once I saw that millions of people were relating to it, I instantly felt not alone…I thought if people are being touched and moved and comforted and inspired by what I’m writing then I will keep writing and take advantage of this famousness and use it as a means as an end to serve.”

On the Qualities of a Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee…
“For me, I would say that we each share a musical intelligence, I subscribe to Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory that we have seven to nine different intelligences…We also have many stories to tell…a lot of social commentary. I think that artists are social activists by mistake. We trip and we fall and we’re commenting on something and we’re all a little bit crazy because we’re Canadian.”

Being a Young Inductee…
“As a ten year old I started a record company and remember wishing that I was 30-years-old. Then when I was thirty, I wished I was thirty. I have no sense of time…I don’t even know what year it is sometimes…”


Cover image from: Nick Lee

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