Biography and Links
Nelly Furtado Bio
- Nelly Furtado Biography
played her first real shows after signing a record deal last year at the tender
age of 20. "I did four Lilith Fair dates, and for the encore, everyone who
performed that day would get onstage and sing [Bob
Dylan's] 'I Shall Be
Released.' I was singing with Chrissie Hynde and Sarah McLachlan and Beth Orton,"
she says, still incredulous. "It was like a dream. I just kept thinking,
What am I doing here with all these seasoned pros?'" It's a reasonable
question for an untested artist who grew up in remote Victoria, British
Columbia, a first-generation Canadian, the daughter of working-class Portuguese
parents. Nelly Furtado has indeed taken only the first few steps along her path, but
her wide-ranging taste suggests an artist who has sampled much that music has to
Further evidence of her eclecticism is found in the instruments she plays
trombone), the languages in which she sings (English,
Portuguese, Hindi) and the debut album that represents another dream fulfilled.
To be sure, Whoa Nelly! (released on DreamWorks Records Sept. 26, 2000) boasts a
hybrid sound that is uniquely her own. The most recent chapter in Furtado's
story began when, at 18, she leapt onstage to sing at a Toronto talent show for
mostly black, female performers. It was there that she met her manager, who also
represents multiplatinum Canadian act The Philosopher Kings. Shortly thereafter,
the Kings' Gerald Eaton and Brian West produced a demo for Furtado. The results
were adequate, but the well-rounded teenager already had plans to go backpacking
in Europe, then head home to study creative writing.
She nonetheless stayed in touch with Eaton and West, who kept insisting she
return to Toronto. Furtado recalls: "I went to see The Philosopher Kings
both times they played in Victoria, and both times they said, 'You gotta come to
Toronto and do some more demos.' I was, like, 'I don't know. I'm in school, I
want to write, I'm learning to play guitar - blah blah blah.' Then one day
Gerald just called and said, 'You're coming to Toronto.' So I went for two weeks
and it was awesome. The three of us totally clicked. Gerald and Brian are
amazing - smart and charismatic and wonderful to work with. They created the
most positive creative environment you could imagine."
The material they recorded during those sessions ultimately led to Furtado's
deal with DreamWorks Records (where she was signed by A&R exec Beth Halper).
Eaton and West (known collectively as Track and Field) came on board as
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