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Nelly Furtado
Singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado heavily credits her ethnic background and childhood for culturally and crucially spawning her creativity as an inspiring musician. Born on December 2nd,1978, and christened Nelly Kim Furtado, she was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nelly was one of three children of working-class Portuguese parents. She’s now based in Toronto.

Furtado's parents instilled a hardcore work ethic during her upbringing. She spent eight summersworking as a chambermaid with her housekeeping mother, quickly realizing what it meant to honestly make a living. Her musical background dates back to the time spent in San Miguel, Azores, when her late Portuguese grandfather played several instruments. It further deepened as her mother sang in the church choir while her father had a deep interest in the Portuguese style of music fado. These Portuguese elements and influences are very much a part of her musical upbringing.

Nelly learnt to play the trombone in a jazz band, concert band and also went on to join a marching band, and compete in contests. Besides she also sang and danced in musicals. With everything falling into place, it was time to move on. She listened to mainstream R&B, HipHop, moving onto Radiohead, Pulp, Oasis, Portishead, the Verve, U2, later onto The Beatles,Simon & Garfunkel, pushing Furtado to fully embrace different musical genres, specifically Brazilian music and material by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The culmination of these listening experiences led to her first studio recording at the age of 16, belting out a full-fledged R&B vocal album for a friend was based in Toronto.

Brian West and Gerald Eaton, who were of the Canadian funk-pop group, the Philosopher Kings,were instantly impressed by her strong sense of performing and asked to produce her demo. During those sessions, Furtado created some of the moving work, which landed on her debut. These solid collaborations led to the pertinent introduction of Furtado and the critical acclaim of her debut Whoa Nelly! released in October 2000 with hits like I'm Like a Bird and Turn Off The Lights.

After exactly three years, she's back with her new album, Folklore released in November 2003, which has influences of folk and Portuguese running right through. The Record magazine bagged an exclusive generic interview with Nelly Furtado, who spoke about her new album and her past. Excerpts:

The Record: Tell us something about your music and your new sound?
Nelly Furtado: I can't describe the Nelly sound as it's really hard. I'm like…I'm immersed in it and like a spectator from outside. I would definitely say that it is pop music. I know for sure, that it's part of the confusing things to talk about. It's only that it's very poppy in nature and one of the things is that it has a childlike quality to it and I think that I take everyday songs and cut them into catchy hooks.

You can read the rest of our exclusive interview with Nelly Furtado in the February 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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