Ariane Moffatt is not new to the music industry. She's been a successful singer-songwriter for the past 10 years, but most people hadn't heard of her... until now.
The Quebec resident has released three albums, writing songs with French lyrics that endeared her to a francophone fan base but did not bring her international fame.
But her fourth record, MA, features songs in both French and English -- and a Japanese title. Could that be why Moffatt suddenly gained a myriad of fans from countries all around the world, performing at this month's South by Southwest Festival and even briefly zooming to the number two spot on the iTunes Album Chart?
Or is it that her work has so matured over the last decade that it transcends language? Moffatt's genre-bending sound -- it combines aspects of pop, electronica, and folk -- has won some serious awards, including the Juno Award for Best Francophone Album of the Year and a MuchMusic Video Award for Best French Video.
The artist told CBC News that she switched to English in order to open things up. A language I control less could maybe give more space to [my] imagination, she said. It's interesting to see where the language guides me or brings me.
She was inspired by her Quebec neighborhood called Mile End, which is multilingual.
Now what about this sex addiction rumor? The story is that when Moffatt described the song In Your Body during an interview, she used some evocative terms. But she later said the song was not about sex addiction; in fact, it wasn't even based on her own personal experiences.
I gave a quote to Q magazine, where I started to tell the story of In Your Body in a way that was a bit suggestive, and they interpreted the song as being about sex dependence, and that's not at all what I intended to say! she said to the Montreal Gazette.
And about that album title... what is MA? Moffatt explained:
I was reading this magazine with a special on Japan, and there was a photo report on 'ma.' It was talking about the definition of spatial temporality, the space between things: the silence between two notes in music, the distance between two swords when you're fighting. This little emptiness the Japanese call 'ma.' And for me it was really significant and poetic to see time not only in terms of something really far and vast, but in the little contemplation of spaces between things. When I was alone writing in the studio and in a contemplative state of mind, the 'ma' spoke to me a lot. And it's also my initials.