Sometimes I'm a shy person.
I have up walls, and I think that these days people can read past the bull****.
It's time for me to just be vulnerable and share my story, even though, truthfully, it's really hard for me to have to think about or talk about it.
I was left in bed pretty much for two years.
I thought at one point I wasn't going to make a record again. . . that maybe my music was over.
Welcome to my studio.
I don't really have a name for it.
Let's just call it 'The Head Above Water Music Studio'.
I was on tour and I was so sick, and I went to like every specialist in Los Angeles— For so long I didn't have an answer, then I found an amazing doctor on the east coast and was like diagnosed on the spot.
And it was Lyme disease.
Typically, you got a tick bite, and it really like weakens like everything, like your muscles, your strength. . .
I did antibiotics for two years straight.
I even had to take anti-Malarias.
I was stuck in bed, staring at the ceiling. . .
Avril's a very, very energetic ball of light.
You know someone for so long to be a certain way, and then obviously, whenever, you know, the Lyme came about it took a very hard toll that I don't think anybody would ever even understand.
It felt like I was drowning.
One night in my bed, my mom was holding me and I thought I was dying, and I had accepted it.
In that moment, all these song lyrics just like flew through me.
All of a sudden, I had this song concept and all these lyrics.
I grab my cell phone, and I went into notes and I was like,
"God, help me keep my head above the water so that I can breathe and rescue me," and, like my mom was so confused, like,"Who are you texting?" And I was like,"I've got a song."And she's like,"Oh!"
And that was like the start of the record.
While I was still recovering, I would just like write and write and write. . .
I'm kind of old school.
I still like to write my lyrics down.
I had all this time off and I was in my home healing.
So I had quiet around me and I was like not drinking, and so I was like very sober and very bored.
I felt like I was a bird locked up in a cage The feeling of being trapped.
Normally, it's like going to a studio you write a song that day, you record it that day, then you're on to the next. . . dot-to-dot.
I stripped it back, I started each song which is like piano, vocal, and then I would like build around the track.
Watching her work makes you want to step your game up, because her process is relentless.
This is how much writing I did.
These are like pretty much all full.
"You know. . . I don't have a lot of energy and stuff, but like maybe I can sing in the studio."
Chad Kroeger— he helped me to record the song "Head Above Water", and so when I sat down to sing, I didn't know what I was going to be like.
I didn't know if I had lost my voice or if it would be weaker, and I think that the emotion was just like really raw and very real.
I remember singing, and like my whole body getting like really like warm, and also just like fighting back the tears.
When you cry your vocal cords tense up, so then the tone of your voice will totally change.
So Chad came running in and he was like,
"No no no no no no no no no no! Don't cry! Don't cry! Don't cry!"
But there is like a part in verse one where you can kind of hear like my voice, like, crack a bit.
I just thought, no matter what like we have to keep this vocal take.
Its time for me to just be vulnerable.
Everyone who heard the song all had the same response.
They were like,"I just got goosebumps!"or, like, tears were in peoples eyes, and I don't think I really had a song like that.
So, it just showed me that music lives in me.
It's in my blood.
It's in my body.
It's in my soul.
It's like thats what I'm supposed to do.
When you've got a song that's that strong, you have to have the visuals to match.
We shot all over the world.
In Iceland. . .
It's, like, out of control.
It's the best video I've shot.
That was a huge milestone, and a victorious moment for me.
To like shoot a music video, and then I got to sing "Head Above Water" for the iHeart-Honda Stage, and that was the second time I'd ever performed it.
I think it definitely healed her along the way.
Every song she's like,"I have to finish this. I have to finish this."
Even when she didn't want to wake up, she didn't want to get out of bed. . .
That definitely drove her to get better.
She knew she had to.
I'm gonna make some homemade whipped cream and instead of using sugar,
I'm going to use maple syrup. . . says the Canadian.
Oh that's bomb.
Here I am.
I have my life back.
It's important for me to talk about my struggle and what I went through.
I cant believe, like, he song I wrote in bed ended up being my first single, and it makes me feel really good that I could actually do something with my life during that period.
I hope that this album can give strength and inspire and bring any type of comfort to anyone who listens to it.