‘All of these songs have incredible meaning to me and were written in moments of intense personal growth. Overall, I would describe this album as raw and honest- a friendly punch in the face. These tracks combine hard beats with strong, dynamic, sometimes pretty vocals . It’s overall, quite a simple, at times juvenile album that was very liberating to create and gave me immense joy.’ -Nelly Furtado on her latest album, Spirit Indestructible
A: I would like to record a Portuguese album, another Spanish album and maybe an English one. But for that I might need to put a studio in my tourbus because I’ll be going on tour next year. My immediate plans are just getting the tour ready and promoting this album which I’m really passionate about.
Q: Tell us about the different sounds in Spirit Indestructible. We hear a variety of genres.
A: Yeah, the new album has a lot of different styles. I worked with different singers whom no one has heard of before, like the Kenyan Boys Choir and a talented Portugese singer, Sara Tavares. Tiesto produced a song as well, and I also have traditional hip hop beats in other songs, and a rock song produced by Bob Rock. I think that’s what’s special in this album – I experiment with a few different things.
A: Spirit Indestructible is something I read in a book; it’s a reference to the human spirit, and it captured me as a great album title. It’s powerful and has a lot of meanings. The book I was reading was about how humans have always overcome things – slavery, holocaust, wars – so I think everyone has the potential to have an indestructible spirit. I have also met a lot of people with that spirit, especially on my travels, like when I went to Kenya. I wanted a title with an impact in it, and Spirit Indestructible was it.
The way I see it, my first album (Whoa, Nelly!) was about the mind. My second album (Folklore) was a heart matter, the third (Loose) was the ‘body’. This new one is, for me, about the spirit – positive energy shines in this album.
Q: When you look back the past 12 years, what’s different between now and when you first started your career?
A: People say u have your whole life to write your first album, which is kinda true because you’ll put a lot of your experiences and inspiration in that album. Then you have other albums to produce in a shorter period of time, you have less time to get inspirations. But by now, because it’s been 12 years, I feel like I’m starting over again, a new lifetime. I have a fresh interest in making music, fresh creativity and passion.
A lot of my dreams, musically, have come true during the past 12 years. From creating my own label to doing my Spanish album – these were all very rewarding to me. I think I’m a completely different person from back when I started out – I was like a floating leaf back then…but now I’m very grateful and thankful for everything, for my fans especially.
Q: In the 12 years of being in the music industry, there were surely some difficult moments in your career. What keeps you strong and keeps you moving?
A: I’ve had ups and downs, and I’ve had to become my own bestfriend and motivate myself. Music has always kept me strong. There were times when I wanted to quit or when I didn’t want to do anything anymore, and it was always the music that pushed me back to the studio or on stage. My passion is what keeps me making music and what keeps me feeling like it’s worth it. I love the music, sharing emotions with my fans and also positivity.
A: I was once a teenager too, so I know how it feels like. I remember looking through magazines and thinking that people have to look a certain way. But I was really lucky to be raised in a household where my mother was very strong and very well-rounded as woman, and I had really good female role models who encouraged me to be a ‘whole woman’. This means you should represent everything, that being smart and conscientious were equally as important as everything else.
With Spirit Indestructible, I do think about the future women and young girls growing up in today’s world, which I think is a complicated one to grow up in. I want my fans to learn to love themselves. The photos in magazines aren’t real, most of them are airbrushed. I think girls need to work on their ‘media decoding’, as I call it – I practice that with my daughter. I ask her if a picture or a cartoon looks real, for example, if a body is proportionate, or if that’s how a real girl or woman looks like.
I think our only defense nowadays is to be savvy and to be able to decode the images around us. Loving yourself is so important, and I had to learn that because I’m photographed all the time and earlier in my career, I’ve looked at my pictures and thought they were never good enough. Now I can look at any photo and I can accept imperfections because I know myself, and I know I love myself. If girls can learn self love, it’s something that stays with your for a lifetime.
Q: Who was your role model when you were growing up?
A: For me, my role model was my mum and my grandmother. My grandmother passed away at 95 years old; she always welcomed anyone who showed up on her doorstep and had a friendly phrase and smile for anyone she met. She lost her husband when she was 50 years old and she moved with her children to Canada – she was really a strong woman. My mother, as well, was very strong and assertive; she worked so hard to make sure we had the best upbringing possible with what she could provide for us. They came from very simple roots – working class roots – but that made me who I am now. So despite all the glitz and glam that come with my career, I never took it too seriously because my family keeps me very grounded and reminds me of what’s important in life.
Nelly Furtado’s latest album, Spirit Indestructible, is out now. Purchase them at any music store or online on Itunes.
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