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Nelly Furtado is back

Looking back at one of pop's forgotten divas, what she did and what we think she will do

Nelly Furtado is back Looking back at one of pop's forgotten divas, what she did and what we think she will do

Nelly Furtado is back. Do you remember her? The "Promiscuous" and "Broken Strings" singer has decided to revive her career by releasing new music, and her fans could not be happier about it. This is a groundbreaking event: she has not released an unreleased single since 2017. Biblical times, especially when you consider today.

To celebrate her comeback, let us take a look at her career. In 2000, she had an international hit with the album Whoa, Nelly! which included the singles "I am like a bird" and "Turn off the light" The album was immediately described as groundbreaking, a blend of genres that ranged from up-beat to sentimental, from trip-hop to worldbeat, without losing effectiveness, and which set her apart as an artist from all other singers of the time. Today we would perhaps call it indie or hipster.

Her initially bucolic and delicate style changed abruptly in 2006 when the artist decided to turn over a new leaf and collaborate with Timbaland. These were the golden years for the producer, who would very soon effectively and iconically deliver Justin Timberlake's new direction with FutureSex/LoveSounds, his second post-NSYNC album. The album Loose, a pop and R&B opus with dance influences, is an overwhelming success and the new Furtado earns her place in the Olympus of pop girls she was pitted against at the beginning of her career, changing the genre forever.

@nellyfurtadoofficial I’ll eat your man, devour him whole @Dom Dolla Eat Your Man with Nelly Furtado - Dom Dolla

The mood of the new single titled "Eat your man" seems to be more than a reference to the super sexy, glamorous and feminine Nelly from "Maneater" A snippet of the single could already be found on TikTok, where she presented it herself on her official profile. It is a collaboration with Australian producer Dom Dolla and thus an exploration of a new genre for her, namely electronic and house music.

In an interview with Fault Magazine, she opened up about her meeting with the producer and her decision to switch genres again. "Dom and I just started making music together and it was a process of coming together and understanding the roots of what I do. I started connecting the dots and wondering why all these DJs were remixing my old songs like Give it to me and Say it right. I realised that my voice just sounds really good on beats, and that's something I do not have to run away from. Dom taught me to go back to that truth, to what makes me feel good, to find the soul in the music. In the EDM world, it's not so much about creating a pop hit. You are just trying to capture a moment."

To talk of a return to the stage is actually a misnomer. Although her biggest hits came out almost 20 years ago, radio stations have never stopped playing her and she has remained firmly in the mainstream imagination, especially among millennials. However, the Canadian singer has not performed on stage since 2017. That break is now coming to an end, and she'll be doing it with a bang. Namely, at the end of the summer, she will be performing at Portola, a music festival in San Francisco that takes place on 30 September and 1 October. She will be joined on stage by Major Lazer, Polo & Pan, Flying Lotus and many others on the first day. A line-up worthy of her new musical soul, which is to be under the sign of EDM, house and electronic music.

In short: 20 years of career, from trip hop to house to pop and with a Spanish-language interlude. Twenty years full of looks and leaps, but also full of pauses, doubts and well-deserved times of reflection. At 44, Nelly Furtado shows us that you can and must reinvent yourself and that a pop star's career does not end at 30 and does not need to be sustained with constant, pounding releases, because quality endures over time and is remembered anyway. Fortunately.