Nelly Furtado has turned off the light on pop music -- at least for the moment. On her third album, "Loose," due June 20 via Geffen, she makes a concerted effort to get jiggy. The set features product
Nelly Furtado has turned off the light on pop music -- at least for the moment. On her third album, "Loose," due June 20 via Geffen, she makes a concerted effort to get jiggy.
"For a long time I kind of denied my R&B and hip-hop roots," the Canadian singer/songwriter tells Billboard.com. "All that rap and R&B I listened to as a kid made an impression on me; I used to write R&B songs in my bedroom that sounded like Mariah Carey songs. Now I'm tapping into that again, and I'm like, 'Wow, I didn't know I could go back there.' It feels so good."
Though she wrote and recorded material with Track & Field (which co-produced her 2000 debut "Whoa, Nelly!" and 2003's "Folklore"), Nellee Hooper, Pharrell Williams and Rick Nowels, Furtado made the bulk of "Loose" in Miami with producer Timbaland, with whom she worked on the hit 2001 remake of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On."
Nowels produced "In God's Hands," which Furtado says is "as far as I was willing to go in terms of pop right now," while Lester Mendez helmed the English and Spanish versions of "Te Busque," a duet with Latin pop superstar Juanes. Unfortunately, label politics have prevented Furtado from sampling Coldplay frontman Chris Martin's vocals on the closing track, "All Good Things," which he co-wrote.
And in a change of creative course, Furtado let another writer -- Virginia-based MC Attitude -- compose most of the lyrics for the new album's sexy first single, "Promiscuous."
"I think now I have more separation between what I do as a songwriter and what I do as an artist," says Furtado, who duets with Timbaland on "Promiscuous." "If a song doesn't reflect what I'm going through right now, then why should I sing it?" She adds that some of the more pop-oriented songs she wrote for "Loose" will be recorded by other artists.
Furtado is planning to perform in Europe in June, with a 20-date North American club tour following in July. Japan, Latin America and a more extensive North American swing also on her docket this year.