Alexa, the virtual assistant, is getting patriotic just in time for Canada Day.
Amazon Canada has launched Alexa Loves Canada for the month of July with the help of Ottawa’s Alanis Morissette and many other Canadian artists.
As of July 1, if you say “Alexa, Happy Canada Day,” Morissette will sing O Canada.
And beginning July 3, the You Oughta Know hitmaker shares seven different Canadian thoughts of the day, including growing up in Ottawa, by simply saying, “Alexa, what’s Alanis’ thought of the day?”
Others Canadians featured singing the national anthem in this campaign include country artists Brett Kissel and The Reklaws, rapper Shad (a spoken word reflection), Josh Ramsay of pop act Marianas Trench, Quebec’s Bobby Bazini, and pop star Johnny Orlando. Just ask, “Alexa, sing the national anthem by (the artist’s name).”
We caught up with Morissette, 46, from her home in the San Francisco Bay area in an exclusive interview with the Toronto Sun.
Why did you want to be involved in this Alexa Loves Canada campaign?
Because I love connecting with people in many forms and I love Canada.
Do you use Alexa yourself at home/in your car?
Sometimes … (in the) living room. Makes for a fun night when the whole fam is asking Alexa questions all at the same time. (laughs)
When you think of Canada, what do you think?
I think of a country that is lush in its beauty, filled with friendly people who only snap sometimes (laughs) and I like their health insurance.
Is it hard to be so far away from your home town right now during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I miss Canada every day. And can’t wait to go back.
You’re now a mom of three. What do you tell your kids about Canada? Or do they know it well through visiting?
Ever and Onyx and Winter, too, they all know they are Canadian as well as American (and I never let them forget it. (laughs)
Do you consider yourself patriotic?
Yes. I adore Canada. (I’m) super proud (to be a Canadian).
How did you come up with the seven Canada Day thoughts for Alexa?
I channelled it. (Laughs)
Have you sung the anthem in any major circumstances previously? Is it hard to sing?
The anthem is gorgeous and super fluid to sing. I have performed the anthem countless times at sports events, etc.
You were supposed to be on tour this summer for Jagged Little Pill (JLP)’s 25th anniversary but COVID-19 put a stop to that. What have you been doing instead?
The tour has been rescheduled for a time when it is safe for us all to gather (2021). I have been recording songs, being a mom, nursing my new baby boy winter, unschooling our children. (I have) a new record (coming out July 31 called) Such Pretty Forks in the Road. (There’s) the Broadway musical (version of Jagged Little Pill). We did a Zoom chat. And I have been teaching and leading meditations. And many more things.
What would you tell Alanis from JLP days that you know now?
I would encourage her to have guardians around her who really take her well-being into account. I was surrounded by a lot of people who had agendas around “getting” by being associated with me. I felt pretty alone in terms of not having had a ton of people I could trust around me.
What was the process of turning JLP into a theatrical experience like for you?
It was a dream come true. It took eight years. Once Diablo Cody signed on to write the book, Diane Paulus directing, Tom Kitt doing music and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreographing … It has been such a healing and inspiring process working with so many talented people. We lean on each other here and there and it truly feels like one plus one equals 50.
Your new album was postponed by COVID-19 but is now due July 31, are there any performances planned around then?