Nelly Furtado | Dean Piper Interview 2009

Hey Nelly, Great to meet you. The new album Mi Plan has been top of the Latin Charts in the States for five weeks- kinda cool!
It’s a thrill to be at the top of the Latin charts. It’s even better to have the success after the Loose album – which was huge for me. That was an incredible ride with Loose. Fun – but hard work.

So it’s probably nicer having a Spanish language album – reaching new audiences and taking it slightly easier with the promotion.
This time around it’s in Spanish and it’s opening up my music to a new audience. I recorded this album in Toronto and Miami. My main colaborator.

Tell me about the album.
Well it’s my fourth studio album- I don’t consider it my ‘Spanish’ album – it’s my fourth pop product. I considered doing a quickie Spanish album a few years ago but it didn’t feel right. I don’t do ‘quick’ anything.I mull things over and come up with quality with my work. I want people to have faith in that and they come back then for future albums. Music is my main gig so we don’t muck about! I’m 50/60% fluent in Spanish. So some songs I’d come away and enlist other people to help me finish the lyrics. I guess I just felt that I’d almost ran out of things to say in English so it was brilliant to mix things up.

So can we expect an English language album afterwards?
I actually took a break to work on the Spanish because I’d gone into the studio and had nothing left to say in English for a while. Writing in Spanish on this album has opened me up to being able to write in English again. It’s cured my writer’s block. I jammed with Timbaland over Spring break – and we wrote new songs. It’s electronic and fusion.

You have collaborated lots in the past – anybody else you’d love to work with?
I think it would be great to work with a female like Madonna or Kylie. I’m a huge fan of Kylie. I love the idea of proper girl power. It’s good. I work with tonnes of men and with this album I worked with a few women and loved the results. And Eminem would be good – he’s interesting. I like collaborations because I’ve always secretly wanted to be in a band. So working with people on my projects keeps me sane.

Have you even performed Broken Strings (her duet with James Morrison)live yet?
I’m thinking of doing Broken Strings live in an acoustic performance actually next week. We must sing it together at some point – we just haven’t gotten around to it yet.What about kids – do you want to expand your brood?Well my little girl’s six now. I’d like to have more children. I love parenting. It’s important to me and special. I really do have the most boring life when I’m at home. I get up looking like shit and work and I’m in sweat pants – well, velour jogging pants – and fisherman rubber boots.

You left your rubber boots at home today!
Exactly, I’m back in the heels to promote this album. They say you have your whole life to write your first album. I’ve had two years off to do this album. It seems like a lifetime. I’m coming from a whole new perspective.The language doubles my thoughts this time around – the Spanish language is full of so much more emotion. I wanted this album to be credible in the Latin world. Everyone like Shakira and Ricky Martin have to have albums in Spanish to a high standard. They are geniuses. I had to enlist masterful people to work with to get this album like it is. I’m proud of it.

Did having a fluent Spanish husband help with the writing?
I’m married to somebody that’s fluent Spanish Cuban American. A lot of this album is about relationships. We might argue in Spanish together from time to time – and that translated into the songs very well too!

How do you stay fit and healthy?
It’s tricky to stay fit and healthy in this game. It’s a process for me and it’s all about nutrition. I’ve needed to learn about nutrition lately and this year I’ve learnt all about healthy fats. Avacados, cocunuts, almond butter, peanut butter are all great for you. You can have fats like that and they can work for you. I’ve also read up about it all and to get all scientific it’s good for your brain too!

Wow, you sound into your nutrition!
Don’t get me wrong I go to Portugal every summer and I eat loads of bread and cheese. You can’t deprive yourself things in life. I’m not that bad – I’m not obsessive – there are no fad diets though.

Are you going to tour this album?
I will tour. We’ve done some in Mexico and we’re doing Latin America and Europe. I’m hosting the MTV Latin Awards too. I think I’m wearing 10 different outfits at the minute. I like the fashion part of dressing up. I’ve always loved clothes – that’s the fun, yet tedious, thing about my job. I used to dress up my dolls when I was little and I have my little girl to dress up too.

Nelly Furtado’s album, Mi Plan, and single, Manos Al Aire, are both released this week on Universal Records.

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