Quebec singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt crosses boundaries

Montreal's Ariane Moffatt is known for francophone music that blends genres — be it pop, folk, jazz or electronica. Now, she's bridging the language gap with her bilingual album MA.

Montreal singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt is known for music that blends genres, be it pop, folk, jazz or electronica. Now, after more than a decade in the music business, she's bridging the language gap with the bilingual MA, her fourth studio album.

"Quebec has been quite familiar to me for the past 10 years, so why not open boundaries and just live new things?" she told Radio-Canada's Kevin Sweet.

The idea for a record composed of both English and French tracks came naturally, after she had considered the idea for some time, Moffatt said. 

The singer said she was inspired by Montreal's multilingual Mile End neighbourhood where she lives and works. Also, a trip to Nunavut to work with local teens showed her how making and sharing art can transcend language, she said.

As an artist who values wordplay and the poetry of lyrics, Moffatt discovered that composing in English brought her "into zones that I didn't expect," she said.

"A language I control less could maybe give more space to [my] imagination... It's interesting to see where the language guides me or brings me."

Moffatt, who is popular both in Quebec and France, talked to CBC about the genesis of MA, reaching out to new audiences and her electropop style. 

After a quick stint in Austin, Tex., for the South by Southwest music festival this week, she returns to Toronto for Canadian Music Week March 21-25 before continuing onto spring concert dates in Quebec, New York and Paris.