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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Strut Magazine (Canada, 2006)

Strut Magazine (Canada, June 2006)


Nelly Lets Loose
by Vicki Hogarth, photography by Markus Klinko & Indrani

In Los Angeles, there are many must-meet places for interviewing celebrities. There is the Chateau Marmont, of course, andthe equally famous The Ivy, where many chats over fine teas for fine magazines have taken place. So when I was arranging to meet Grammy winner Nelly Furtado, I was certain we would be lunching by the sea or on the Boulevard - or at least next to other celebs. Then, to my surprise, she sent word that she would prefer to meet on her own turf, in Toronto, at a place called Padaria Girassol.

Sounds fancy, doesn't it? It isn't. It's Portuguese for "Sunflower Bakery," and the perfect setting for a woman who isn't afraid to show her roots. At Padaria Girassol, a group of old men sit drinking coffee, reading the paper and talking amongst themselves at this small but bustling establishment on Geary Avenue. It's not a lavish patisserie, it's a low-key neighbourhood joint. Nelly arrives, all smiles, with her hair in a pony-tail. She bursts through the door in a spurt of energy that suggests she could hurdle the tables if she were so inclined. A sprightly 5'4", Furtado has piercing blue eyes that could demand the attention of pretty much anyone, even if she weren't a renowned musician. The men in the café, however, pay little attention to the star's presence.

"I rehearse down the street," she says, over a cup of coffee and a sandwich. "I come here and people are really chill. They never really say much." I tell Nelly that, before she arrived, a group of men beside me were in what appeared to be a heated debate in Portuguese. One of the men then leaned towards me and, on behalf of his companions, asked if I was from England. Nelly slams her hands on the table while laughing in amusement. "That's like my dad," she says, still laughing. "He goes to this coffee shop in the morning in Victoria [Nelly's hometown] with 10 or 15 of his friends who are all retired. They bring potatoes from the garden to show each other who has the biggest potatoes."

“I appreciate the culture Toronto has, and the arts community is really supportive. And the lack of sharks here.” – Nelly Furtado
“You really have to keep surprising people. And it’s not shock value, the sex thing, it’s about the style of music” – Nelly Furtado

Photographed exclusively for Strut by Markus Klinko & Indrani: Click Here
Shot on location exclusively for Strut Magazine in the historic Bradbury Building in L.A.

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