Furtado enlightened by trip to Africa

Furtado enlightened by trip to Africa

Nelly Furtado cherishes the energy burst of feeling like a newcomer.

“I think that’s why I kind of go away for so long in between CDs, so I can feel fresh and new when I come out again,” said the well-known Canadian singer, who has a new CD on tap for next year.

But Furtado also felt rejuvenated after a recent trip to Africa, which was documented in the TV special Nelly Furtado: The Road to Kisaruni. It debuts Saturday, Sept. 10 on CTV.

“I had been invited to go to Africa in the past for different things, but this was kind of the right moment for me,” said Furtado, 32.

“I got asked by CTV to do a documentary over there in collaboration with Free The Children and a Toronto group called Artbound, which is all about building arts programs in schools around the world.

“So it was a big collaborative project. It was a big group of people, almost like summer camp in a way. But it was a real whirlwind, educational experience for me.”

As shown in The Road to Kisaruni, Furtado took particular interest in a young girl named Susan, who had just missed the cut to get one of the coveted spots available in the new school. Susan still dreamed of becoming a doctor.

“I met so many people in Kenya who haven’t forgotten about community, haven’t forgotten about spirituality, haven’t forgotten about helping out each other,” Furtado said. “We need to feel that and be exposed to that here in North America, so hopefully the documentary does that a little bit.

“Leaving Africa, I really felt hopeful about humanity, about the future.”

Furtado has been involved in many humanitarian projects, and TV viewers will see her in yet another one on Oct. 30, when MuchMusic airs highlights from the upcoming We Day festivities in Toronto and Vancouver.

Furtado said that for her, the key to juggling music, family and charity work is to understand that those elements don’t always have to be divided. Furtado’s music certainly has drawn inspiration from cultures around the globe.

“I think Western artists are seeking international influences now more than ever,” Furtado said. “I always have. I don’t feel like such an alien any more.”

The music business has changed a lot, however, since Furtado broke onto the scene in 2000 with the single I’m Like a Bird and the CD Whoa, Nelly!

“I feel lucky, actually, because I feel like I was part of the last wave of artists with original, I guess, record deals, really,” Furtado said.

“Contracts have changed a lot. So I feel lucky.

“Obviously touring has become a lot more important for artists. I just feel lucky that I’ve had a long career. I still love writing songs, I love producing. The business has changed, but it has changed in interesting ways - more good than bad, actually.”

Really? How so?

“Music is more eclectic now than it ever has been,” Furtado said. “It’s a time for new and exciting ideas, though. For anyone who has entrepreneurial ideas about music, it’s a good time for them, because there are opportunities for music to reach people in brand new ways.

“I just read that Bjork is doing residencies for her new tour. Instead of doing a traditional tour, she’s doing, like, residencies in eight cities over three years. But that’s brilliant, you know, for thinkers like that to come up with new ideas.

“Sign me up, I want to buy a ticket.”

Next Post »
Post a Comment
Thanks for your comment