Body image is something that girls struggle with every day, and it’s something that I struggle with every day.
Every time I sing, it it’s a reminder to myself that I have to be confident.
I guess people don’t think that young girls or young artists have opinions, but I’m so glad that there’s artists like Lorde and Raury and Kehlani because they’re showing other people that young people can have an opinion and a voice and do really well with it. I’m glad I can be one of those people.
Singing was something I always did. I really don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing, even as a little child.
As long as each song makes somebody feel something, I think that’s the point of it all. I don’t want it to just be background music, you know?
I think that my music is really empowering. I just want people to know – especially young people, but really everyone – that you don’t have to be so caught up in what everyone else is thinking. You don’t have to be the coolest, most popular person. You can just be you and be vulnerable.
I don’t want to be cliched, but Buckingham Palace is beautiful, and the old red telephone booths are really interesting to me. I’ve always wanted to see those.
Ninety per cent of my family are hairdressers, and the other 10% are construction workers.
Music was something I found on my own. I got my first guitar when I was around 10, and it just all developed over time.
Other than the ‘Sesame Street’ soundtrack, which I was obsessed with, the first artist I really felt I’d discovered on my own was Amy Winehouse. She was the first female artist I wanted to write like and sing like and be like.
I was always so scared to sing in front of people. That was kind of my weird thing.
My house was very strange. I didn’t do things other kids did because my parents were very strict – I stayed at home, quiet in my room.
I was a troublemaking kid.
I wanted to get through high school anonymously.
Flannel shirts, denim, Converse, a guitar, messy hair? That’s literally me.
‘Looking For Alaska’ by John Green is a very great book. I feel like every teenage girl says John Green’s ‘Fault In Our Stars,’ but ‘Looking For Alaska’ is better.
I’m not extremely outgoing, but I’m average, I think. When people meet me they’ll say, ‘Oh you’re not that shy…’ I never said I was! I see where they’re coming from because my biggest single was about being shy at a party – I get it. But it’s not 100% accurate.
In second grade, I told a bunch of kids there was a homeless person living between the portable classrooms outside our school. It caused panic, and the principal had to announce on the P.A. system that no one was living there. I pretended I didn’t know who started the rumor.
I’ve never really aspired to the spotlight; I just wanted to do music, which is kind of weird because music comes with that spotlight.
I was a very strange child.
I feel like my whole life, I’ve had to prove myself to so many people because I’m young and because I’m a female; it’s just constant. I’m always surprising people.
You can do anything and be a star. You can dress like however you want, and you can do whatever you want. If you wanna wear meat suits like Lady Gaga, good. She’s freaking amazing! She’s doing that, and she’s unbelievable. I can wear T-shirts and still be great, too. So that’s just what I’m proving to people.
I don’t know how to talk to people I don’t know.
I don’t really dance. I don’t drink or smoke. Being at parties is very awkward.
The only thing I’m really, truly good at is music – I just love it.
I first picked up a guitar when I was ten years old; my parents surprised me with it for my tenth birthday. I started taking lessons when I was thirteen, but only for a few months, and then I just kept teaching myself.
I was always told that music isn’t a ‘realistic’ path to take, and like a normal human being, I doubted myself over and over because I was afraid of failure.
YouTube is my first love.
The first time I sang in front of an audience, I was about 14 – it was at my guitar school’s showcase, and there were about 30 people there. I was so nervous, but I did it.
I always told myself that if I was going to be given a voice, I might as well say something worth listening to and not something that’s just going to feed people stupidity.
I was too shy to do any vocal lessons or go to choirs; I just didn’t want to be seen doing it. It’s something that I kept to myself. I started easing into it, and I started doing talent shows, and YouTube really helped with that, too.
I don’t want to have one hit, one song of the summer, and then have me disappear forever. I really want my things to last, and I want my songs and my bodies of work to resonate with people. I want to hit people – at least make a dent in them. I want to make a mark somehow.
Everywhere I go, every city, they’re always like, ‘What’s in the water in Canada? What’s in the water in Toronto?’
I barely have time to think. But the best way to stay grounded is to take it one day at a time.
We all act like we know everything in life, but nobody really does. That’s what I want people to realize. For me, I know that I’m the same person. Nothing has changed. My family and friends know that.