About The Artist
The Set List
Nelly Furtado is an artist that embraces change. A look at her past and present foretells a future influenced by a willingness to experiment with sounds, genres and language.
Perhaps it's her Azorean-Portuguese background combined with a Canadian upbringing that's provided her natural flexibility. Maybe it's her resilience and hotly anticipated return to the studio to deliver an exciting new album that's as much a departure from late 2003's Folklore as Folklore was from her hit-spawning debut, Whoa, Nelly!
Capitol Studios: If Walls Could Talk
Whatever the reason, Nelly recently arrived at Hollywood's Capitol Studios locked and loaded for what would be a brief journey through her music that focused on new material interspersed with some past gems. The historic venue was eerily appropriate: The iconic Capitol Studios has seen more than its share of change over the years.
Tight as a Drum
Her latest effort, Loose is named for the spontaneity and creativity that Furtado faced in her decisionmaking while creating the album. Loose is anything but loose and, if her performance for Soundcheck is any indication, is destined for chart success.
Furtado kicked off the set with "Promiscuous," Loose's infectious, uptempo, hip-hop single. On the album, the track is released as a "duet" with Timbaland; here in the studio, Furtado verbally (and literally) danced the song with Canadian rapper Saukrates. In a word? Fun.
"I'm Like a Bird"
Now here's a prime example of Furtado's embrace of change. With the final beats of "Promiscuous," she downshifted gears to the song that really made her career, the just-can't-get-it-outta-my-head "I'm Like a Bird" that had everyone tapping their toes and drumming their fingers on the console. The song - which won Furtado a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance as well as four more nominations - was from her breakthrough 2002 album, Whoa, Nelly!
"In God's Hands"
The set took on a quasi-spiritual twist with "In God's Hands," a song of regret, resignation and failure in love, where Furtado sings of love returning to "heaven, where it began ... back in God's hands." A very different kind of track that appears on her new album, its inclusion alongside "Promiscuous" is further testament to Furtado's penchant for mixing things up.
Nelly's nod to her sophomore release, Folklore, was "Try," a more mid-tempo ballad that was released the same year her daughter Nevis was born. It was a year of transition for Furtado, as she transferred to the supportive Geffen Records following the mellow Folklore's release on the DreamWorks imprint.
Furtado told the BBC that Folklore had twice the originality of her debut Whoa, Nelly! and attributes much of the less frenetic pace of her second album to her pregnancy with Nevis during the recording process.
You could hear the set's gears shift once again as Furtado and the band wrapped up their in-studio performance with "Maneater." "Maneater" was, interestingly, released internationally as Loose's first single; in the U.S., the album's first single, of course, is, as mentioned, "Promiscuous." If one heard only those two songs, an understanding of Furtado's range and versatility would be lost. Fortunately, Loose seems to be a tightly woven tapestry of Nelly Furtado's talents as a performer and anyone giving it a serious listen would be hard-pressed to pigeon-hole her.
On Playing Live and More
If change is the order of the day musically, then consistency best defines Nelly Furtado's affable and candid demeanor before, during and after the Soundcheck interview.
She spoke of her international heritage and how she travels so much that she truly sees herself as "a citizen of the world." She spoke of her meteoric rise to fame with her first album and how she now "knows the ropes."
Our favorite sound bite? "Playing live is like holding hands with many, many people at the same time."
If the success of Nelly Furtado's Soundcheck performance is a foreshadowing of things to come, then Loose stands to be her most winning release yet.
Thanks for stopping by. We'll see you around the site...
- The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck