Few artists have musically reinvented themselves as many times as Nelly Furtado. Who would have thought that the same girl who sang “I’m Like a Bird” could turn out “Maneater” just a few years later?
At this point in her career, Nelly is a guaranteed hit maker thanks to her energetic performances and strong fanbase. But that’s not all that keeps listeners coming back for more. Part of the fun when it comes to a new Nelly Furtado album is that you never know exactly what to expect.
If you feel like Nelly Furtado has been missing from the Top 40 for a few years, that’s because she’s been busy conquering Spanish-speaking music audiences. Her Spanish album, Mi Plan, won a Latin Grammy in 2010.
Nelly’s latest release, The Spirit Indestructible, is out now. We had a chance to catch up with her via email and ask a few of our burning questions. Read on for the interview.
Crushable: Your music seems like it is constantly evolving – your body of work contains quite a range of musical styles. Has that been intentional, or was it a natural progression?
Nelly Furtado: I don’t really plan my detours out; they just kind of happen, like when you’re on a road trip and you take an exit cuz it just feels right. I guess you can call me a musical Magellan. I see the musical world through very international eyes… there’s a lot of music out there to explore. I also grew up playing trombone in school orchestras. An open musical mind was essential.
Your Spanish album, Mi Plan, won a Latin Grammy. Does it feel really different to perform and record in Spanish?
Yes. I had to really pay attention to song themes in Spanish. The approach to metaphors and frame of reference is totally different. You can’t be quite as subversive as one can be in English. I learned how to create a song with a very defined subject matter and have a song really make a point. It was fun and educational.
Do you still like to perform older songs, like the ones from Whoa, Nelly?
Yes, I like performing them even more today!
Looking back on your career, is there anything you would change?
Yes! I would have recorded more albums and taken it all less seriously.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of really incredible artists. Who are a few of the most memorable for you?
Michael Bublé and Missy Elliott.
Tell us a little bit about your new album! What kind of sounds can we expect to hear?
Reggae, EDM, hip hop, R&B, folk, rock and world music. It’s loud, unbalanced, right but wrong… It’s like a friendly, positively charged punch in the gut!
Has the way you look at the music industry changed at all?
Nope. I’m still a dreamer. I still believe music can change the world. It’s the Woodstock dream… the Beatles dream… without optimism we die.
What advice would you give to someone looking to make a career for themselves in music?
Write songs, play instruments, and spend time with as many musicians as possible. It will happen naturally and you’ll discover your unique sounds this way. You’ll be unstoppable, confident, and full of stripes to carry you through.