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Nelly Furtado talks new album, Tynomi Banks collab, & wanting to work with Kylie Minogue

Nelly Furtado talks new album, Tynomi Banks collab, & wanting to work with Kylie Minogue


Nelly Furtado talks new album, Tynomi Banks collab, & wanting to work with Kylie Minogue
Sammy Rawal

Out got the chance to speak to the music icon about her gay fans, her new club-ready anthem "Love Bites," working with Tove Lo, and how badly she wants to collab with Kylie Minogue.

Song of the summer? We think so!

The queen of reinvention, Grammy-winning pop icon Nelly Furtado is back on the scene with her latest single "Love Bites," a club-ready anthem that she collaborated on with fellow pop star (and bi icon!) Tove Lo and super producer SG Lewis!

Jordan Kelsey Knight

Though it's been a minute since her last studio album (2017's The Ride), Furtado has been, and will always be, a mainstay in pop, especially since her timeless hits, like "Maneater" from her groundbreaking 2006 LP Loose, are still being found by new generations and are still going viral on TikTok all these years later.

With even more new music on the horizon, including a full-length, 12-track album that is coming the near future, Out got the chance to sit down and chat with Furtado to talk about her iconic career so far, which other pop queen she'd like to collab with, her gay fans, her favorite Pride memories, and more!

Out: I was wondering if you could talk a little about "Love Bites" and the genesis of the song. How did it come about? Who approached who first? How did link up with thee Tove Lo and SG Lewis?

Nelly Furtado: She's a real princess. She's such a queen. She just sounds like a Swedish fairy. Her voice is angelic. I'm definitely petrified to sing this song live with her because she just blows it. But anyway, we're all friends. The energy energy's real. We have a really fun group chat. Lots of disco balls, lots of heart emojis, lots of swear words. It's so fun. Lots of slice, slice, lay. And then, okay, so her and ESG were already friends and then they were quite tight, but I had never got a chance to meet her. SG and I were already making music together. Dom D's connected to Tov. Dom's creative director is married to TOV Charlie, and so there's this whole connect the dots, but I literally started making music with SG and Dom Dala at the exact same time and performing with them and stuff. So basically SG and I had this track that started very different and then SG kept working on it and he couldn't get those reverse hooks out of his head. And then he's like, I reworked this, but can we get somebody to help us with the chorus? And I said, only if it's Tolo. Okay. And then literally a couple days later they did it and they sent it to me and it was like fire. And she just did that Swedish pop thing. It's just different. And I think what I like about it is you can't tell who's singing. So it's like musical doppelganger. Who's singing is it? I like that. It gives it fun.

The stars aligned. I love it.

They did for us, for sure.

What I love about Tove Lo is that she loves collabing with women. I feel like you're on a long a list of amazing queens that she's worked with.

I do love her. Kylie Minogue song. Oh

Yeah, "Really don't like u!" I love that one!

Love that song.

Is there another main pop girly that you'd want to work with?

Oh my god, I love Anitta. I love Anitta. I die for Anitta. I do love her. I haven't met her before. I'm thinking, who else? Oh my God. Oh, I would love to work with SZA. She's so amazing. Or Kylie! I would love to work with Kylie Minogue.

I'm sure the Brazilians fans would love to hear some Anitta going on.

And I would still love a song with Queen Madonna personally too. I think that would be sweet.

Hope they're listening.

Yes.

I can already foresee "Love Bites" being a major club summer staple this year, especially since Pride Month is coming up.

Yes! Just in time for Pride.

You're no stranger to Pride, so is that exciting for you to give the gays everything they want with with this?

Are you kidding? We must serve! I am in service and I'm so excited. This song's coming out right around Pride. We're actually performing at this huge Pride festival in London called Mighty Hoopla in a couple weeks. And I am excited.

I've been so lucky. I've been able to perform with some amazing queens who I respect and admire so much. One is Tynomi Banks, who she has been by my side performing with me a lot. I even had Venus perform with me to open the Juno Awards in our home country in Canada, and it just felt so right. She was strutting to "Maneater" with pyro and feathers and it was just perfect.

Last summer too was really fun just getting to know Brook Lynn (Hytes) a little better after working with her on Drag Race, that was so fun.

We just can't wait. There's more stuff coming. There's more songs coming. There's another track with SG on my album. There's a lot of fun on this album, but there's also a lot of heart. There's a lot of heart, there's a lot of emotion, and I really put my heart and pain into. Wen I say pain, it sounds like my album's sad, but it's anything but sad. It's almost like a celebration. There are a couple sad moments. You definitely can be emo if you want to be emo. There's a few emo songs where people can trip out into that. But I just always want to provide that healthy vehicle for escape. I think music is a safe vice. You can have a healthy addiction to music. I have that addiction to music when you listen to a song on repeat and it carries you. So I don't know, I just feel like I felt called back to the music industry because DJs kept remixing my music and I would hear it everywhere and it was like a light bulb went off and it was like, 'Oh, people just want to have a good time and be happy to the music.' So I put a lot of that intention into this album. I took it serious. I took the mission seriously.

It's not an official genre, but I always say my favorite genre is "crying in the club." From that answer, I feel like those are the vibes you're going to give listeners, so I can't wait for that.

Yeah, there's going to be some that!

Bertrand Exertier

I want to a ask more retrospective question about your career. Something I feel like people don't talk about enough is how you went from "I'm Like a Bird," Whoa, Nelly!,Folklore, those eras to "Promiscuous." That's one of the greatest pivots in pop music history, going from that Earthy, artsy, vibey girl to get-down-at-the-club Girl. How iconic that was that to you, and what was the response like and reflecting on that all these years later?

It's so funny, I just found a picture of me that my manager sent me of my first ever show at Lilith Fair. It was in the crowd somewhere. It was tiny. And I think just my friends were there to watch me that drove from Toronto to see me. It was somewhere in the States. But I bought that dress and it's literally a tight, fuchsia, curvy flamenco dress. And this is way before Whoa, Nelly! or Loose!

You know those people in high school where every day they're dressed in a different style? One day they're hip hop, one day they're hippie. That was me. So musically, my evolution made sense to me. But from the commercial side, you just get what you get and what you hear. It was like, 'Who is this person? She was just in the trees with the birds one song, and now she's in the club.' It's kind of funny because it wasn't really that sexy, but I guess maybe the music, the energy of the music was sexy. And I think I was just coming into my own as a woman and I was just kind doing my own little renaissance in my private time and I just put it into the music.

Again, it was an iconic time. Loose is, I feel, one of the best albums period, regardless of genre,of the past 20 years. Everyone is still blasting like "Maneater," "Say It Right," "Promiscuous..."

I love performing "Maneater." I love it. It doesn't even feel like my song anymore. It just feels like karaoke. I just love what it is to people. I love that animalistic energy, that guttural energy. Yeah, I love going there when I make records.

Speaking of making records, I read somewhere that you have over 200 songs recorded for this next era. How are you editing it down and winding it down? I can't even imagine what that's like...

I will tell you that we are down to 12 songs now and we are mastering and mixing and putting the final coat on it. And we just finished our album packaging and yeah... it's coming together. So we're doing all the things. Lots of music coming down the pipeline, but it was kind of difficult to choose, but not really. Once you start playing it for people, it's like everybody has their faves.

A little exclusive is that actually, Tynomi Banks might be on my album!

Period! Is there a little Timbaland reunion on the new record as well?

You know what, Tim is a part of the whole process. He definitely co-signed when he heard "Eat Your Man" with Dom Dolla. He was like, 'I love this. You sound so good. Let's get together.' He's just there. He is so supportive. But I did work with a lot of different producers. I got so many producers. I got some really strong females. Wonder Girl produced a record. I have a really cool FNZ song. I have a few tracks by T-Minus. One I did with Charlotte Day Wilson, love her. I have a couple of tracks with Bomba Estéreo. It's kind of all over the map and I'm doing my thing where it doesn't really follow a particular formula, but the intention was really to give people something to escape into.

Who are some other production folks who have been in the game as long as you have, that you still haven't got a chance to work with, that you would love to work with?

Oh geez, That's such a good question. I would like to work with Max Martin. I think I like to work with people that challenge me and I think he's just very elite in the world of production. I also saw The Weeknd play at a stadium a couple of years back here in Canada, and I was kind of blown away. I felt it was like 1983, like Michael Jackson. It just had, again, escape. It's a common word I keep using, but it's a frequency thing of just bringing it up. There's a mystery to it that lately I've been listening to. Oh, I really want to work with this UK producer and DJ named Shygirl. I really, really love Shygirl. There's so many new people that I love.

Sammy Rawal

On a fun note, again, going back to how your gay fans have held you down for years, is there any message you want to send to them coming up for Pride Month?

One of my first memories as a touring young artist, I was probably 21 years old touring the U.S., I had this sold out club tour and I literally remember singing my song "Sshit on the Radio" from Whoa, Nelly! It's a song about staying true to yourself and seeing young LGBTQ+ couples in the front row just crying and singing it and tears streaming down their face and just feeling like that celebration of individuality and just following your own path regardless of the haters.

I think my music's always been about a celebration of the self, whatever form that is that day. For me personally, I guess just to come into that self-love. I've been coming into a lot of self-love lately and just accepting myself and just not being so judgmental of myself and just feeling it. You feel sad? Feel it. Feel angry? Feel it. Feel it and then talk about it. I need to remember that for myself. I can tend to get a little depressed if I get too in my feelings, but then if I talk about them, it does help. It moves it along. And music helps me too.

Before we wrap up, has this new era been titled yet? Do we have an album title or are we coming close to having am album title?

I do have a title, yes! You're going to know really soon. It's pretty simple. But yeah, it's so soon. It's funny because no one's had to wait as long as me, you know what I mean? I've been patiently waiting. But yeah, we're going to announce that so soon. So soon. It's going to be a good summer.

Nelly Furtado's new album is on the way. "Love Bites" is available to listen to wherever you stream music.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.