Furtado showed up on the scene in the fall of 2000, 20 years old, with the release of her acclaimed debut, Whoa, Nelly! Radio tracks such as "I'm Like a Bird" and "Turn Off The Light," both Top 10 hits on the Billboard singles charts, introduced listeners to a young Canadian (British Columbian by birth and Portuguese by heritage) who brought a self-styled vibrancy to the diverse music styles she whipped together: hip-hop, Portuguese fado, pop, soul, classical, Brazilian, dance, folk, Latin and anything else that seemed expressive and alive to her. At the 2002 Grammy Awards, "I'm Like a Bird" won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Now, with her new Folklore release, Furtado realizes that her new songs are somewhat different from her earlier material. "I think I've grown a lot," she says. "A lot of the songs on my first album, I was a teenager still; I was just kind of writing, writing away, and hadn't experienced all that stuff. My first album was very aware of how I didn't want to tour with a somber record. I just wanted to share goodness and positivity and bright colors with the world. Now, I'm stepping back and understanding that I can do both; I can still be positive and yet really raw and real at the same time."
As the child of Portuguese parents who immigrated to Canada, Furtado has always been exposed to many musical genres through the prism of Portuguese folk and religious music. "I look at music with a very open mind and really wide lens," she says. "When you don't have any boundaries, you're limitless-you can do anything because you have no bias. There's a difference between having no bias and having no taste. You can navigate your way through all sorts of genres, which is what I like to do." Furtado's career, as well as her music, amply demonstrates this.
For more information on Nelly Furtado, check out NellyFurtado.com!