Pop superstar Nelly Furtado was in town recently for a showcase. Elliott Danker caught up with this Portuguese beauty (and September’s cover girl) and asked about motherhood, growing up in different cultures and what she’s learnt along the way.
POPCulture Online: Growing up in a multicultural environment, how has that affected your style of music?
Nelly Furtado: We always had culture around us, it was a very colourful upbringing and music was always around us. My mum spoke to us at home in English because she wanted to practice her English, we went to night school to learn Portuguese and I did Portuguese folklore dancing and even sang Portuguese songs on my ukelele. We even traveled to Portugal too during summer. I had friends who were multicultural as well and that’s where I learnt more about different styles of music like Latin music so that’s where my multicultural taste began thanks to those experiences.
In my life today I’m always searching for new styles, new music and new inspiration so I think it’s kinda started my journey as a musical explorer.
POPCulture Online: At the end of the Spirit Indestructible music video, you become 50 foot tall. If you could be that big for a day, what would you do?
Nelly Furtado: I’d probably walk across Canada, then go through the U.S. I’d love to walk through all the corn fields and yeah I’d definitely kick some butt being that huge!
POPCulture Online: You’ve come such a long way since your first album. At one time you were the “promiscuous girl” and now it’s about the spirit indestructible. Do you think motherhood has mellowed you?
Nelly Furtado: Motherhood has changed me more than once, I think even from the beginning when I was expecting my daughter, the energy kinda influenced my music at that time. There was a peacefulness and serenity surrounding my second album Folklore and then with Loose it continued with a sort of “coming into my own as a woman” and feeling like a rebirth of sorts as well. It was more like spending more time at home and being more domesticated, and pursuing hobbies and passions for myself.
In recent years I’ve been more grateful about life and feeling more spiritual and remembering my essences from when I put my first album out because it’s easy to forget why you put out music in this business, especially when all of a sudden it becomes about deadlines and satisfying people.
And it always helps to have an eight year old to listen to your demo tapes! They are very honest about what they like!
POPCulture Online: What do you wish you knew when you were 18 that you know now?
Nelly Furtado: I wish I knew that it would take time, because when you’re 17 or 18, which was when I first moved to the big city and was trying to make it in the business, I didn’t understand why it wouldn’t happen overnight, I didn’t understand why you can want something so bad but there are building blocks to it.
So those were really formative experiences for me. I think if I hadn’t struggled through that phase I wouldn’t be the person that I have today nor would I have the perspective that I have on my career and in turn value my career. So in a way I would tell myself at 18 that it takes time but then on the other hand I might not just so I can struggle through it and grow.
The Spirit Indestructible is will be available in all good music stores 18th September.
Interview photography by Kenneth Wong
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