I saw this girl’s love letter to Shakira, and I couldn’t help but think, I’VE GOT A STORY LIKE THIS TOO. MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE CREEPIER.
A couple of months ago, my hair was falling out and my body was exhausted and I was horribly scared about my “unidentified autoimmune condition”, I heard Nelly Furtado’s “Spirit Indestructible.” I immediately went to the fridge and wrote down some of the lyrics on the whiteboard on my fridge.
(My mom read it and said, “Wow, that’s power.”).
To me, those lyrics were a middle finger to my condition (turns out I tested positive for Sjogren’s antibodies). I think I’ve mentioned here that I’m running a half-marathon in October, and I for sure wanted that song on my playlist. My body is truly a miracle for letting me run like this now, when it was not having it earlier this year.
I went to download the sucker and it wasn’t available. Anywhere.
And this kills me because I’m a hardcore Nelly Furtado fan. Hardcore means when she wore her hair slicked back and big hoops, I wore my hair slicked back and big hoops (In the year 2000, 12 years before her song about them). Teachers would ask me if they were heavy and boys would throw erasers through them, but damn it I was going to wear them because I wanted to be like Nelly.
I think I’ve even tried to pull off this entire look last year at the age of 23 (complete with the Egyptian-Heavy Metal letters floating by my head), and it just wasn’t coming together.
Needless to say, I’ve been a fan for a long time. A long time. Long enough to remember that I lost my sh*t, screamed and scared my mother when I saw her come sliding out of the Missy-Mouth (at the 2:30 mark):
All I wanted was some flavor in my shoes.
Along with my Mama-Chona, I’m pretty sure I tortured everyone in my life with my Whoa, Nelly! CD. Every car trip, regardless of distance, had to have at least one round of Nelly.
I can say that her music made me feel better about my life—my dad was back in London, preparing to move me from Ohio to Michigan upon his return, I was bullied incessantly (the pushed down the stairs, stolen belongings from locker, cornering, actually-life-bruises bullying) and of course, I’d just had salivary gland surgery, like every little girl—her music comforted me so much, probably more than it should have. I just remember singing to myself, “I’ve got me under my own skin/I don’t need nobody else” over and over (From one of the greatest songs of all time. OF ALL TIME. My Love Grows Deeper Pt.1).
Here are girls dancing to the Pt.1 version:
When my dad came home from the UK and we were looking for houses, I, of course, popped in my Whoa,Nelly! CD. My dad loved it and declared every song a “jam.” My dad is still a big Nelly fan to this day—one of my favorite sights of him is watching him in his moccasins, nestled in his arm chair, drinking an Appletini and watching the Loose concert DVD.
And of course, I evolved with Nelly over the years, and bought all of her albums:
Folklore? Yup. I still belt out Picture Perfect when I’m in the car on the way to work.
Loose? You got it. I actually asked my friend to throw a party a few weeks after our Prom, so I could play Promiscuous (which was not played).
Mi Plan? Claro. This album is the reason for my obsession with Mala Rodriguez.
And it doesn’t stop at La Mala, Nelly Furtado is kind of responsible to opening up my music taste from at the time I discovered her was just the normal bubblegum pop. Something about her sound tuned my ears to trip hop, and I don’t think I would be fans of some of my favorite artists (Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, Emiliana Torrini) if there was no Nelly Furtado.
And she even got me liking other music that I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of. Through reading interviews, I learned that she liked Bloc Party and Death From Above 1979. I like both of those bands too.
That’s why I’m kiiind of bummed that I don’t hear anyone really talking about her newest album [THE SPIRIT INDESTRUCTIBLE; BUY IT NOW BUY IT NOW BUY IT NOW], which I’ve eaten up already. I just want this woman who has this profound impact on my life to have the success she deserves, and more selfishly, to have success so she can continue to put out more music.
I’d be absolutely heartbroken, positively crestfallen if Nelly Furtado disappeared from music. She’s gotta be around forever.
I mean, who else let you play the tabla, the udu, and the dulcimer (I think?) on her website way back in the day. WHO ELSE KNOWS WHAT AN UDU IS?
To Nelly Furtado,
El color de mi vida cambio desde que tu llegaste. 😛
Thank you to Nelly Furtado. For just being this awesome so far.