Although Nelly Furtado has been quiet the last few years, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy.
Since the release of her last album in 2006, Nelly has gotten married, started her own record label called Nelstar Music, and released a Latin Grammy award winning album.
Now, she’s making a comeback in a big way with her new single “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better).”
When the singer recently stopp in at 92.3 NOW/New York, Nelly said “Big Hoops” is about doing what gives you the most confidence.
“For me, it’s getting on the microphone,” she said. “Like, when I’m in my element in the studio, I just feel this swagger on the microphone and this confidence, and that’s existed since I was even 14-years-old. Rocking my big sisters’ big hoops heading down to the mall to hang out in front of the mall with my friends, writing rhymes and singing and thinking I was famous when I wasn’t.”
In the video for “Big Hoops,” Nelly walks down the streets of Los Angeles on stilts that were three feet tall. She said she had to train at a professional circus school in order to master the art of stilt walking, and they had her walking on six foot tall stilts, strapped into a harness of course, in rehearsal for the video shoot.
“The director came to the rehearsal and went ‘Wait a minute, we can’t even capture somebody that tall with the camera that we’re using, you got to switch back to three,’” she said. “I’m like ‘Ok, sure, get this harness off me. Okay, we’re on three,’ so when I was walking down the streets of Los Angeles in video, without a harness on my threes, I was feeling good because six was just terrifying.”
Since her last album came out, Nelly’s said she has been busy experiencing life, which is crucial for writing music that connects her and her fans. The time away from recording has helped influence her writing for her new album, “The Spirit Indestructible.” She said she’s done a lot of traveling the past couple of years, particularly to Kenya where she teamed up with Free The Children to open a new all girls school called Oleleshwa Secondary School. She is selling special tank tops on her website and is donating all the net proceeds to Free The Children. She said there is also an on-going documentary available on her website about the making of this album.
While recording an album, Nelly said she likes to avoid what’s on the radio in order to keep her music fresh and original. She said lately she’s been listening to indie artists like Tune Yards, St. Vincent and Dylan Murray, a singer/songwriter signed to her label, Nelstar.
“When I’m recording an album, I don’t like to listen to the radio a lot because I’m a bit of a chameleon,” she said. “I don’t want to be too influenced by what I hear that’s popular, so I try to keep it original so I listen to other stuff.” In the future, she said she would be interested in working with Swedish artist Robyn and Grammy winning dubstep producer Skrillex.
Nelly plans to go on tour in 2013, spending summer all over the world, making her way to Latin America in the fall.
-Sarah Scroggins, 92.3 NOW/New York