07/01/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Who is your Canadian idol?

We asked Canadian musicians: who's your Canadian inspiration, and why?

Joni NehRita

"When I was starting out as a musician/singer-songwriter Ivana Santilli was my fave. She wrote great tunes, had a killer band, played two instruments, was gorgeous and badass."

Alysha Brilla

"Nelly Furtado! I felt I could identify with the quirkiness of Furtado's music and writing." 

Sarah Thawer

"I would say Larnell Lewis! A humble human being and a beast on the drums!"

Ed Hanley

"I always stopped to chat with Graeme Kirkland, a guy who played bucket drums all over the city. He finally invited me to play on one of his Christmas concerts at the Rivoli. (Strangest. Concert. Ever.) I think I liked his fearless strangeness."

Daniella Watters

Alanis Morissette! I listed to Jagged Little Pill on repeat as a kid. I didn't understand half of it back then, but I knew that it was ridden with emotion and pain. I sang a lot as a kid as a way to express myself and get out sadness. Alanis contorted her voice in ways I hadn't heard before. It really intrigued me."


"Billy Talent were the first Canadian artists to really inspire me. Their lyrics are raw and real. I really admired how honest their music is. And it inspired me to write music."

Hailee Rose

Dave Rave all the way. He was the one who inspired me to write.

Amanda Martinez

"My Canadian inspiration was Lhasa de Sela. Such a beautiful voice that left us too soon. She was both an incredible songwriter and performer. My favorite song De cara a la pared — so haunting."

Collette Savard

"Joni Mitchell, which of course probably tops many people's lists. After falling in love with her songs, I discovered that like myself, she wrote intuitively which really helped me feel like what I was doing was valid and opened me up to the endless possibilities of just following my ears and my heart."