What’s new with Nelly Furtado?
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s been a while since we last heard from Nelly Furtado. Those who understand Spanish and hardcore fans would say 2009, when she released her first full-length Spanish album “Mi Plan.” But for the rest of us, it was 2006, when she came out with her third album “Loose,” her most successful so far, spawning hits like “Promiscuous,” “Maneater,” “All Good Things (Come to an End,” and “Say It Right.”
And now Nelly’s back—with new stuff, of course. Set to release her fifth studio album “The Spirit Indestructible,” Nelly has already released a couple of tracks from the upcoming album: The beat-heavy “Big Hoops” and the playful and highly-danceable “Spirit Indestructible.”
Before performing with rap rock band Gym Class Heroes in their first-ever performance in Manila last Aug. 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Nelly sat down with the press and shared all the new things she’s been into, including her latest album.
When asked to describe her latest album, Nelly says “The Spirit Indestructible” is “a friendly punch in the face” because while the message of the songs and the whole album itself is friendly and positive, the sound is very aggressive. “I wrote this album at a very inspired point in my life,” she said. “I began writing these songs around the time I released my Spanish album ‘Mi Plan.’ I was in a great headspace, feeling refreshed and ready to really deliver in English again. This album is all about positivity, youth, good energy, and the relentlessness of the spirit. I want people to live this music the way we did when we wrote it. I want them to jump, dance, scream, laugh, cry, love, and vibe to it, and to turn it up very loud everywhere.”
The pop star also admitted that she has the tendency to be a creature of habit. “At the beginning of this album, I kind of called on the usual suspects,” she revealed. But then a great thing happened. Some people suggested for her to work with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, someone she’s never worked with before. “So we got in the studio—and magic happened. Sometimes I get lucky!” Other people she worked with in this latest record include hip-hop songwriter/producer Salaam Remi and Dutch DJ Tiesto.
Nelly shared that the album was three years in-the-making, and in that span of time, she went through great experiences that affected her album.
She just signed on to be the ambassador of Free the Children (an organization where children help fellow children through education), and she’s raising funds for them. She also went to Africa, something that made her experience communal joy. “I really experienced people celebrating and being joyful together for the first time. It really reinforced my belief in humanity. It reminded me who I am. That’s why the album is so childlike. The experience also inspired the album’s title track, which pays tribute to mankind’s ability to overcome adversity. So many things have happened that have inspired me in a lot of ways to believe in humanity.”
Nelly also started her own label, Nelstar, which she considers good for her soul. She explained, “It was good to do things for really organic reasons. Help out other artists, want to give back to artists creatively, feed around their creative energy, too. I think I take as much as I give.”
Motherhood has also contributed to how she worked on her latest album. Being a parent has made Nelly more mature and serious about her professional career as a musician, and is even more conscientious of the things she releases now that she has a daughter. Her little one (who is actually a quarter Filipina) is very musically inclined, just like her mother. Nelly proudly shared that her daughter plays the violin and the piano, and that she has an ear for music. Nelly would play demos in the car and interestingly, all the tracks that her daughter bobbed her head to while in the car made it to the album!
Despite all the changes and the new things, however, there is one thing that Nelly discovered hasn’t changed. “I’m surprised I’m still so excited when I go to work,” she revealed. “Every moment feels new even if I’ve done this a million times—it’s been 12 years—but it still feels fresh to me and that amazes me. It’s still so much fun for me.”
The Spirit Indestructible, released by MCA Music, drops Sept. 17. Mark Sablan, Contributor
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