When I was seven years old my parents signed me up for theatre camp. On the first day me and the other campers sat with our counsellors to decide on what kind of play we wanted to do. We decided on a play about a school for superheroes. One by one each of the campers declared their favourite superhero to be their character. When it came to my turn, I did the same:
“I want to be Avril Lavigne,” I announced.
I remember my counsellor taking my statement in stride, and being very encouraging of me trying to be a pop punk princess. So my character was Avril Lavigne, principal of a superhero school. Its important that I tell this story because it needs to be understood how much I loved Avril Lavigne as a kid. To me she was the coolest person in the world and I wanted to be just like her.
However, I got older and I encountered new artists, and my interests changed and evolved. Avril fell off my radar for a really long time, and I think that had a huge part to do with the fact that she stopped making music for a few years. Not long ago I got curious and looked her up online. I found out that the reason she had been taking a break from music was because of the fact that she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Since then she had been battling for her life, and this battles is what inspired her newest song.
In September 2018 Avril Lavigne released Head Above Water. I can honestly say that it had been a very long time since a song had moved me that much. When music moves you it can wake up something inside of you that you didn’t know was there. Music can act as an escape, but it can also make you aware of the harsh reality around you. Not because it’s trying to be cruel, but because the listeners need a wake up call.
Avril bared her soul in this song, and in doing so she exposed the world around us. Head Above Water can be seen as a reminder. A reminder that no one in life is exempt from struggle, and because of this we are not alone. Creating such a powerful song showcasing her fight proves that Avril is an inspiration.
Avril Lavigne might be the musician that I have been a fan of the longest. When I was seven years old I saw a young Canadian woman taking on the world and I remember aspiring to do the same. For a while when I wasn’t following Avril’s work as closely I seemed to lose that drive. But when I heard Head Above Water it felt like all my dreams and desires from when I was a kid came flooding back. Avril was able to take something that was so scary and heartbreaking and turn it into something inspiring. For me I want to do the same.
Lavigne, Avril. “Head Above Water.” Youtube, uploaded by Avril Lavigne, 27 September 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKF6ghfcQic&frags=pl%2Cwn
Peele, Anna. “At Home With Avril Lavigne, Who’s Finally Back (And Totally Ready to Party).” Billboard, 18 October 2018, https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8480271/avril-lavigne-billboard-cover-story. Accessed October 30, 2018.