She loves Mary J. Blige and Tropicalia experimentalist Tom Ze. Her lyrics are influenced by gutter poet Jim Carroll, but also the singing of Mariah Carey. She plays ukulele and trombone and can shimmy across the stage like a guitar-strumming Britney. She's Toronto's Nelly Furtado and her debut, Whoa Nelly!, is the sound of the teen-pop revolution growing up.
Even before she'd finished recording her debut, Furtado was invited to join 1999's Lilith Fair for four dates, playing alongside such heavies as Sheryl Crow and tour founder Sarah McLachlan. And while songs such as the acoustic pop-rocker "Hey, Man" and the Brazilian techno tune "Baby Girl" have the requisite radio-friendly hooks, Furtado has spiced the arrangements with flugelhorn, Portugal's Fado style of music, turntable scratching and South American percussion. She's definitely got some singer/songwriter chops.
From what she can tell, her mixed-up style has already begun to have an effect on her fans. "There's certain kids that show up at my show and they'll give me a mix tape, and it'll have everything from DJ Shadow to Kid Koala to Elliott Smith to Ani DiFranco to Bebel Gilberto, and I'll think, 'Wow, they get it,' " the 21-year-old singer told Mike Davis. "I just know that I'm addressing something that hasn't been addressed yet in the pop world."
Growing up Portuguese-Canadian, and adding hip-hop, techno and world to pop ... NEXT >>>