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Monday, April 7, 2008

enRoute Magazine (Canada, 2005)

Air Canada enRoute Magazine (Canada, September 2005)
Michael Bublé + Nelly Furtado

MB: I’m just going to start by saying that when my career wasn’t exactly going strong, I thought that perhaps I’d be a journalist. So this is actually really cool for me to be able to ask you some questions, considering you’re my friend and I’m a huge fan of yours.
NF: Aaagh!
MB: You’re so cute, Nelly Furtado! Okay, so the first question that’s hugely important to me is about the Canadian music industry and whether you think we have our own “star system.”
NF: Star system? Well, I’m not sure. I thought it was all very civil and low-key. But when I came onto the scene with my big, shiny pop song and my big, shiny pop video, I was living by myself in, like, a little loft apartment. I was almost freaked out to leave my apartment because overnight everyone had heard the song and it seemed like, all of a sudden, there was more of a market for a tabloidy-type culture, which I found really funny.
MB: Both of us have been to many different countries. Don’t you find that each of those countries has their own identity?
NF: Yeah, they do. I think everyone has their own culture. In Canada, all the classic songwriters like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Robbie Robertson started that whole eclectic thing: “I’ve got my guitar. I’ve got some really earnest lyrics, some great melodies and wide-open space. I’m going to write some touching ballads.” And people have kept that torch going, everyone from Sarah McLachlan to Avril Lavigne – even someone like Tom Cochrane, who’s a great songwriter with super lyrics.
There are all these great indie rock bands now, and everybody thinks they’re from New York. They’re not; they’re Canadian! Death From Above, Arcade Fire and Hot Hot Heat… It’s the most exciting music in the world right now, in my opinion. I never have more fun than when I’m collaborating with a Canadian artist, like with you or... I just did something with k-os. It’s just a lot of fun, you know?
MB: Cool, thank you. I can hear your baby crying…
NF: Oh no, no, she’s fine. She’s eating lunch.
MB: So how is being a mommy?
NF: I finally fit in! I’m not an alien anymore. I used to live in L.A. and I hated it, but I just spent two months there, and I thought everyone was so nice. It’s because I’ve got an adorable two-year-old next to me. That’s the thing: People are nicer to you when you’re a mother. You get a lot of respect.
MB: Has it affected your career in a positive way?
NF: Yeah, it’s made me work harder in a way. You know: Gotta keep the funds flowing; gotta keep on truckin’.
MB: I’m sure your priorities changed a lot, Nelly.
NF: Yes, definitely. Number one is my daughter: Is she happy? How are we going to create this life for her? It’s freestyle parenting in a way because we travel a lot. She comes everywhere with me, and she’s getting the best education I think a toddler could have. [Laughs]
MB: You know, it’s my dream to be able to do what I do and tour with the kids.
NF: It’s so fun, I can’t tell you! You’re gonna call me one day and you’ll say, “Nelly, you were so right! It’s so fun; it’s amazing!” I’m going to be touring again next year, so we’ll be travelling again.
MB: So you’re making the new record for that tour?
NF: I am recording my new album right now.
MB: Tell me about it, baby!
NF: Well, Michael Bublé and I are going to do this duet on this song called “Go.”
MB: Are we really? Are we? I’ll do whatever you want, you know.
NF: It’s really funky. It’s not like anything you’ve done before.
MB: You did “Quando, Quando, Quando” [their duet on Bublé’s It’s Time ] and it wasn’t like anything you’d done.
NF: Yeah, exactly, so right back at you, baby.
MB: So you’re making this record. Tell me how you’re feeling about it.
NF: I am ecstatic about it. I’m over the moon. I took an acting class over the summer just for fun, and it totally opened me up as far as just letting go of being self-conscious. It helped in the studio and in the writing atmosphere.
MB: Is there a theme to the record yet?
NF: Well, it’s probably going to be called Loose.
MB: Loose? So there is a concept, then?
NF: Yeah, there’s a concept.
MB: A loose concept?
NF: It’s a newer more liberated Nelly Furtado. I don’t have, you know, Daisy Duke shorts on or anything.
MB: It’s funny that you said that because I think, personally, that you are really sexy.
NF: Thank you, Michael!
MB: One of the big reasons I think you’re so sexy is because you’re this naturally beautiful girl who doesn’t seem to feel the need to wear short shorts.
NF: Yeah, when I shop, I’m always wondering, “Do these high heels compromise my feminist ideals?” Then I say, “It’s okay, Nelly. They’re just high heels.”
MB: Do you really think about it, though?
NF: I’m just finding a balance, you know? On this new record, you’re going to hear a softer side of me. On the last one, I was more comfortable in my skin than on the first one, but on the third one, she’s grown into a woman! You’re going to see a little more of the sensuality, but I mean that in the best way, in the earthiest sense.
MB: You were just talking about being self-conscious. Before I knew you, I figured that you had a lot of self-confidence because you seemed to be okay with being hot and just being yourself. So it’s funny to hear that there might be some self-conscious feelings there.
NF: I guess I’m kind of back to that place where I am very free and just don’t give an s-h-i-t, although I’m responsible about it. You know, I’m a mother now, so I’m not completely unhinged.
MB: It’s funny because if I look at someone like Paris Hilton, the first thing I think is, “Oh my God, she’s got low self-esteem. She’s self-conscious.”
NF: Yeah, I guess people respect themselves in different ways.
MB: I guess so. So where are you right now? In Miami?
NF: I’m in Miami, yeah. My cousin and I were just talking about how we like Miami ’cause all the girls just kind of wear whatever’s suitable in the heat and no one cares what their body looks like. I come from a culture like that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got big legs, hips, whatever. You just kind of do your thing, you know? It’s very earthy.
MB: Okay, so my next question, honey: Your partner is a DJ, right?
NF: Yeah, he’s a keyboard player and DJ.
MB: Is the DJ culture affecting you? Is it making a big impression on you?
NF: When I first met him, years ago when we weren’t even together yet, I was enthralled by the sound. I love counterculture anything – whether it be break dancing or graffiti or turntables. Anything interesting and different, I’m attracted to it. That sound is all over my last two records.
MB: I noticed on Folklore, I could hear some DJ influence. You hear a banjo and you hear these really hot kind of folky, funky mixings that you don’t normally hear – world music kind of stuff.
NF: Yeah!
MB: God, I love you Nelly! What else can I say? Tell us about your wonderful charity.
NF: Oh, Sooke Potholes? Right on. There’s like 100 acres of this amazing space: a stream, hills to climb, great cliff-jumping opportunities. [Laughs] It’s just a gorgeous outdoor space, and I’m working with the Land Conservancy group in Victoria to make the Sooke Potholes a public park forever and ever and ever.
MB: Very cool.
NF: I’ve enjoyed it there since I was a teenager, so I’m publicizing it and talking about it a lot. The government’s already put up some money, and donations have been coming in from around the world.
MB: That’s pretty special for you to use your status to help people like that, hey?
NF: You know, you look around and we all feel it: The air isn’t quite as fresh anymore, especially in the urban centres, and we all feel it inside, don’t we? So whenever I have a chance, I try to get involved.
MB: Good for you, honey. Well, I’m going to let you go now because I’m sure you’ve got stuff to do. But I wanted to tell you that I’m very proud that you’re Canadian and I love that you’re my friend and thank you for letting me do my first interview with you.
NF: You’re a great interviewer, Michael.
MB: I feel like such a dork, but thank you.
Michael Bublé’s sophomore album, It’s Time, has sold close to 3 million copies around the world. His song “Home” was a number-one hit across North America and his recent Canadian tour dates sold out in minutes.
Vancouver’s Nelly Furtado is a Grammy, MMVA and Juno award winner. Her third album, entitled Loose, is due out this fall.


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