After selling 10 million singles, Nelly Furtado reinvents herself again.
In the spring, Interscope picked a release date of June 19 for Nelly Furtado's long-awaited fourth English album, "The Spirit Indestructible". However, with an aggressive promotional schedule and a lot of ground to cover, the label decided to push the album's release back to Sept. 18 so it could have an unrushed rollout.
"The last album [2006's 'Loose'] was such a global hit, we wanted to touch all the major territories, and that takes a hell of a lot of time," Furtado's manager, Chris Smith, says from the set of "90210," where she performed her new single, the electro-spiked "Parking Lot," on an episode of the CW TV show that will air Nov. 5.
By then, fans will have been given "The Spirit Indestructible" "T.S.I." episodes by Furtado -- online video teasers that provided insight into the recordings -- as well as a music video for the introductory single, a dance club track called "Big Hoops (The Bigger the Better)."
As Furtado traveled the world all summer promoting "The Spirit Indestructible" -- she just returned from Asia -- the song climbed into the top 40 on U.S. radio and the top 20 "pretty much everywhere" else, Smith says.
While "Big Hoops" was a reintroduction to Furtado, who had been out of the English marketplace for five years -- she released Spanish-language pop album "Mi Plan" in 2009 -- "Parking Lot" is getting the big push at radio, accompanied by a video later this month.
Interscope is keeping the Canadian singer busy right through to 2013, which is when her world tour begins. Senior director of marketing Dyana Kass says that Furtado will appear on "Live! With Kelly" on Sept. 17, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on Sept. 18, "The Wendy Williams Show" on Sept. 19 and at the Dalai Lama's Common Ground for Peace in Syracuse, N.Y., on Oct. 8.
Furtado has sold 5.1 million albums and 10 million singles since her 2000 debut, "Whoa, Nelly!", and her breakthrough single, "I'm Like a Bird," according to Nielsen SoundScan. She's also delivered such hits as 2001's "Turn Off the Light" and 2006's "Maneater" and "Promiscuous." Despite her semi-veteran status, she got the same thrill hearing "Big Hoops" on the radio for the first time in April while driving down Toronto's Yonge Street as she did when "Bird" cracked through more than a decade ago.
"I got really excited -- I was kind of in shock, to be honest," Furtado says. "First of all, a song sounds different on the radio because [of the audio] compression used. Second of all, it's wildly exciting. And third of all, I always go, 'What's my music doing on the radio?' because I feel like my music is not always a natural fit. The [songs] are a little bit odd at times."
The new album was created with longtime Furtado collaborator Rodney Jerkins, with producers like John Shanks and Salaam Remi also contributing. It features other material besides club songs: the empowering title track, the pursuit of fame singalong "High Life," the sweet shaker-pop of "Bucket List" and the ethereal, Middle Eastern-tinged ballad "Miracles." The sounds are current yet eclectic, unlike any other pop artist, including Furtado herself.
"When I'm in the studio, I try not to listen to anything on the radio," she says of her approach to creating a new, fresh sound. "I'm such a sponge. I soak up the things I listen to. If I listen to anything totally current or popular, the album's not going to sound original."