Nelly Furtado was on with Last Call with Carson Daly on Wednesday (technically Thursday morning) to perform three tracks and chat with Carson the rest of the time. Nelly talked about her Grammy win, the Canadian music scene, her parents, and her hip hop connection. Read on for a transcript to their chat.
Carson: You are fabulous. Nelly Furtado. And the band, too.
[ Cheers and applause ] thank you for being here. How are you?
Nelly Furtado: I’m great.
Carson: I know, you’re nuts.
Nelly Furtado: I’m great.
Carson: You’re going crazy right now. You just won a Grammy.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Nelly Furtado: thank you very much. Thank you.
Carson: How crazy is that, right?
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, a little bit cool.
Carson: Since the Grammy now, things are just at warp speed for you,
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, well, kind of. Yesterday was kind of a whirlwind.
I did the ow and then did a bunch of stuff in new york. We’re leaving tomorrow
for philly. But it’s just been a whirlwind since the Grammys, you’re
right. I haven’t had much time to reflect, but you’re helping me reflect.
Carson: Yeah,’m trying here. Being from Canada, does the Grammy mean as much as, let’s say, like a Juno?
Nelly Furtado: The Grammy is like sort of on an international level,
right? ‘Cause you’re competing with international kind of artists, so it’s kind of different ’cause Juno’s are just the Canadian music scene, which is pretty amazing.
Carson: Sure, sure, not bad. All right, you gonna hang the whole show
with us? Can we sit down and chat?
Nelly Furtado: Yeah.
Carson: We’ll take a quick break. Nelly Furtado, all show long right
here on “Last Call.” We’ll be right back.
I remember the days when i was so eager to satisfy you
and be less then I was just to prove i could walk beside you
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: Hi, welcome back to “Last Call.” I guess you could say Nelly
Furtado is singing right now. What are you singing? You’re always singing. You never stop singing.
Nelly Furtado: Sometimes, sometimes.
Carson: I love it. I was gonna say, and I mentioned at the top of the
show what a versatile artist you are, and one of the rare people that in
the last ten years that I’ve spoken to whose musical roots were incredibly
rich and credibly deep in an age where that’s very rare.
Nelly Furtado: Oh, thank you.
Carson: Tell me a little bit about your background. Let’s start with
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, my parents. Wow. Well, my parents are from the
Azores Islands, Portugal.
[ Scattered cheers ] yeah!
Carson: Portugal’s in the house, that’s right.
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, colonize the world.
Carson: And they were very musical themselves.
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, they were. My mother, she sings in the church choir.
She always has since I was small, but her grandfather, her father, her great uncle, her brothers, they were all musicians, singers, composers. They wrote marching band scores, so that’s where the musical, like, playing instruments and arranging things, that’s where that comes from. And the singing and the performing are from my mother. But then there’s such a rich song writing tradition in Portugal, as well.
Carson: It’s just been around you your entire childhood.
Nelly Furtado: Yeah. I just was into everything. Obviously when you
have — basically, it’s pretty much in my blood because of my relatives writing all the time. So i just kind of — it was kind of like eating or drinking to me, you know, or sleeping. Singing, writing.
Carson: Even the many genres of music, not just one?
Nelly Furtado: Well, no, it started like that when I was young, and then i was, you know, privileged enough to speak English at home, and then go to Portuguese school at night. You know, my mom took the liberty of putting us in Portuguese school and making sure we learned about our culture. So already singing in two languages opens your mind up a lot. When i started to write, you know — write my own when I was 12, that’s when I got into hip-hop and urban stuff. And then through all that, moving to Toronto, doing trip-hop, electronica music.
Carson: What was your first connection with hip-hop? Because my first
time I ever heard you, it was obviously —
Nelly Furtado: the suburbs.
[ Light laughter ]
Carson: ‘Cause “I’m Like a Bird,” the first time I heard it on the radio
Nelly Furtado: radio and magazines, and pump it up —
Carson: I never would have pegged you to be a hip-hop or trip-hop sort of vibe.
Nelly Furtado: Yeah. I know, it’s funny. It’s weird ’cause people see
me and they say, “wow, you’re so young, wow. She just fell out of the sky.”
Carson: You’re like, “No, I’m 40, relax.”
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, but it’s funny. I have, like nine musical lives,
really. I was just that kid who was just so into music and so inquisitive. And I would literally — I snuck out of my window at age 14 so I could go to a jam and watch people turn table and open mike and things like that.
Carson: Right, and you hung out in malls in Canada and freestyles.
Nelly Furtado: No. Well, the thing is, I always talk about how — everyone talks about how music is cyclical and things come around again, but I really don’t think we felt the full impact of hip-hop music because it’s so new. So now you’re gonna feel that in pop music more. In popular culture more because kids my age have grown up always listening to it, so it’s not foreign. It’s just a part of, you know, it’s just a part of everything now.
Carson: But for your background, coming from that that we all talked
about into the first single, and as far as we know the Nelly Furtado that we heard in “I’m like a bird,” to me, listening to, like, hearing the rap stations, hearing “get ur freak on” the remix, I was, like, “i can’t believe that’s like –” that would have been almost like hearing you know, like an Alanis Morissette or something on a remix of a record. It blew me away.
Nelly Furtado: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So i had the luxury of hearing “Get
ur Freak On” for the first time on big speakers in the studio. So it was, like, ooh.
Carson: How did you figure out your part on that song? Did you just
go in there and start —
Nelly Furtado: yeah, i just showed up. This is what —
Carson: Sing a part, just the one part.
Nelly Furtado: ‘Cause she’s a freak
and I’m a teaser bangin’
with the top down low
and we’re smokin’ I’m gonna do it later.
Carson: No, that’s fine.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: It’s crazy. At Nelly’s show — I’ve been to thousands and thousands
of concerts in my life. I have never seen a more eclectic group of people.
14-year-olds to 16-year-olds girls with signs, a very sort of the “TRL”-esque
crowd. A huge reggae/hip-hop. People were burning. There were —
[ light laughter ] I swear to god. It was, like, reggae. You got the
guy on the one and the two. Do you know who your fan is?
Nelly Furtado: My fan is everyone, you know. Just anybody who has a
heart, who’s sort of — who likes to smile.
Carson: Yeah, right. I know why they’re smiling, that’s for sure. I
saw two girls in the mosh pit get into a fight.
Nelly Furtado: Oh, my god, let me tell you. This is a new trend with
my tour.E Carson: And by the way, when you walk in, it’s just like what
she’s wearing tonight. It’s very glowing, it’s fluorescent.
Nelly Furtado: It’s candy store.
Carson: It’s candy. It’s like Willy Wonka or something.
Nelly Furtado: Willy Wonka, that’s so my inspiration. Willy Wonka, Rainbow Brite, all those things.
[ Applause ] when you are a 10-year-old —
Carson: Tell me about this new trend of fighting in the mosh pit at
a Nelly Furtado show.
Nelly Furtado: We’re starting to go on tour, and I’m starting to count
how many fights. Females are fighting at my shows.
Nelly Furtado: I don’t know. They just get there, and they’re like,
“whoa!” They’re discovering their adrenaline or something and then they just don’t know how to use it. But it’s during, like, “I’m like a bird.” You know, one time i sung “i’m like a bird,” and I had to stop. These two girls were, like, pulling each other down. Ladies, it’s a happy song.
Carson: Yeah, please.
[ Laughter ] join the reggae crew on the other side, and maybe you’ll
be all right.
Nelly Furtado: It’s strange. It’s not the guys fighting, so.
Carson: Right. Well, you’re enjoying the tour. You’re enjoying everything since the Grammys. I know that must have been a crazy night, the whole
Nelly Furtado: Oh, the Grammys. The Grammys were amazing to me.
Carson: You know what sucked, is I thought, is that guy — Michael green, the president and CEO of Naris. His speech was, like, a half an hour long.
He just went off on a tirade about the issue of downloading music when I was so stoked to see Alicia Keys, who was nominated for six, picked up five. I actually wanted to hear her talk, and the orchestra came up. Bono wanted to talk. It seemed like they were citing everybody’s acceptance speech. And then this guy went off about just some B.S. For, like, a half an hour.
[ Light laughter ] did you hear his speech?
Nelly Furtado: And now you got your own show, so you can vent about
Carson: It just pissed me off. Yeah. You’re right.
[ Applause ] did you hear the speech?
Nelly Furtado: You can talk for a whole half hour, Carson.
Carson: We can be an hour, I don’t care. “Turn off the light” — what
the hell do i care? We’ll be right back with Nelly Furtado. She’s going to perform right here on “Last Call.”
Carson: And welcome back to “Last Call.” Nelly Furtado, you spoke earlier of “Get Ur Freak On.” You’re going to do a very special rendition of it.
Nelly Furtado: Mm-hmm.
Carson: Thank you for being here. Nelly Furtado, everybody.
Carson: Very cool.
Nelly Furtado: Thank you.
Carson: Nelly Furtado. Isn’t that awesome? You’re awesome. We’ll be
right back. More with Nelly Furtado. She’ll do one more song when we get back.
Carson: Holy crap, we’re out of time. I wanna thank Grammy award winner Nelly Furtado. Put your hands together. Thank you, Nelly. “Whoa, Nelly”
is the record, coming to a town near you. And she’s gonna take us out now
with “Turn Out The Light” featuring Miss Jade. Once again, Nelly Furtado.