Nelly Furtado Draws Inspiration From Odd Future’s “Rawness”

Nelly Furtado isn’t a stranger to hip-hop, having collaborated with the rap likes of Pharrell, Missy Elliott and Timbaland.

But for her new single, “Big Hoops,” the Canadian pop songbird says she drew inspiration from a rather odd place.

“‘Big Hoops’ is a special tune for me for a few different reasons,’” Furtado told MTV News recently. “The state of mind I was in, I was actually listening to a lot of different music a few weeks before. I think I was listening to Odd Future or something, and I was inspired by how dark it sounded and how heavy and visceral and how it made your blood feel things. And I just thought, ‘Wow — that’s really missing in music. We’re missing that rawness, that energy and that power.’”

“I think music can tap into a lot of powerful emotions, and I think in the studio on ‘Big Hoops’ I tapped into a really powerful memory of being 14 years old, completely in love with hip-hop and R&B along with all my friends, and putting on my sister’s big hoop earrings and heading down to the mall to hang out with my backpack and jeans,” she added.

Furtado has a noted connection to hip-hop. Timbaland helped resuscitate the singer’s career back in 2006, producing a majority of cuts, alongside Danja, off Furtado’s Loose album. That LP spawned hit singles such as “Promiscuous,” “Maneater,” “Say It Right” and “Do It,” all produced by Timbaland.

Her latest single, “Big Hoops,” is produced by Rodney Jerkins.—Mark Lelinwalla