.

Nelly Furtado Brings the Punk-Hop

Canadian singer conjures more pop hybrid sounds on "Loose"

February 16, 2006 2:30 PM ET

After a year and a half spent writing new songs, traveling the world to collaborate with Pharrell Williams, Coldplay's Chris Martin and producer Nellee Hooper (No Doubt, Madonna), Nelly Furtado is finally ready to release her third album, Loose, on May 23rd.

"It was a very indulgent experience," says the eclectic Canadian pop singer. "It was actually the most idyllic sort of album-making ever. It's sort of every artist's dream, where you're flown around the world, just kind of having a good time and making music."

In August, when it came time to lay down the tracks, Furtado turned to hip-hop talent Timbaland, who featured her on Missy Elliott's "Get UR Freak On" remix in 2001. When Interscope President Jimmy Iovine played Furtado some of the producer's latest tracks, her reaction was "Wow! It sound[ed] like he's listening to all the same stuff as me -- everything from System of a Down to Bloc Party and Death From Above 1979, and a lot of Coldplay, too." Within no time, says Furtado, "I was in Miami and having the time of my life."

Working in the evenings, the pair laid down ten of Loose's thirteen tracks, forging a new genre from their shared influences. "We call it 'punk-hop,'" she says of most of the album's sound. "We were thinking, 'Let's do modern Eurythmics -- You're Dave and I'm Annie. Let's make this modern, poppy, spooky music.' And we achieved that on some of the tracks."

The track "Maneaters," Furtado says, is "a 'couture pop' song, where it's in your face and very fashionable, stylistic and of-the-moment," while "No Hay Igual" takes its cues from reggaeton. "I didn't know what reggaeton was until I went to Miami and Pharrell's like, 'You're crazy!'" she confesses. "He played me a reggaeton song, and then I was like, 'Holy shit, it's great!'" She was inspired to write "No Hay Igual," in Spanish, nearly on the spot.

The album closer "All Good Things," which features Chris Martin, was actually a last-minute addition, after Furtado bumped into her old friend during August's MTV Movie Awards. "I was telling him what I was up to, and he's like, 'I love Timbaland. Can I come by?'" she recalls. "But [Tim's] like a big dude, and Chris was scared to sit down at the keyboard. I'm like, 'Chris, sit down. Let's make some music.' I'm always the instigator."

It was, in part, these spontaneous creative decisions that led Furtado to name the album Loose. "I left in all the sour notes; I left in all the giggling," she says. "It's good times."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com