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Nelly Furtado - Força (© Universal Music)

Tuesday, 01 June 2004
Furtado flying high

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Aged just 24, Nelly Furtado has already made a huge impact in the world of rock and pop. Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia in Canada, and the daughter of Portuguese parents, there is no disguising the eclectic nature of Furtado’s music.

Diverse styles
Furtado brought a self-styled vibrancy to the diverse music she whipped together: hip-hop, Portuguese fado, pop, soul, classical, Brazilian, dance, folk, Latin and anything else that seemed expressive and alive to her.

Limitless
“I look at music with a very open mind and really wide lens,” Furtado said. “When you don’t have any boundaries, you’re limitless – you can do anything because you have no bias. There’s a difference between having no bias and having no taste. You can navigate your way through all sorts of genres, which is what I like to do.”

Sales hit
In a world of formula-driven and manufactured music, her debut release 2000’s “Whoa Nelly” certainly stood out and huge hit “I’m Like a Bird” projected huge sales with the album going multi-platinum worldwide.

Grammy success
For once, sales and critical acclaim went hand in hand and Furtado won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2002 Grammy awards. Her follow-up album "Folklore" was released in November 2003 and showcased a more mature but still vibrant artist.

Grown-up sound
“I think I’ve grown a lot,” she says. “A lot of the songs on my first album, I was a teenager still; I was just kind of writing, writing away, and hadn’t experienced all that stuff…. In the past I’ve hidden behind a lot of metaphors. There’s always a veil in front of that. Now, it’s more like, whoa, whoa, there’s nothing to hide behind. I’m far more comfortable in my skin, I suppose.”

Hits and awards
Folklore’s first single release Powerless proved a monster hit and won Best Single at the 2004 Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys, while follow-up release "Try" has attracted heavy airplay. Now "Forca", another track from "Folklore", has been chosen as the official song of UEFA EURO 2004™.

Forca and football
And as Furtado explains, the song has a football theme. She said: “When I was touring in Portugal, people would frequently say goodbye to me by saying “Força,” which is Portuguese slang. It translates as “Keep going,” or “Kick ass.” It’s also associated with sports, especially football. I put a feminine twist on the idea of how you feel when you’re watching your favourite team. When you tie that into nationality, it becomes pretty intense. So this is a happy song, a burst of energy.”

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Nelly Furtado sings EURO's tune
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