Nelly Furtado proclaims her allegiance to a major fashion accessory — hoop earrings — on her feel-good track "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)." While she was influenced by her mall-rat youth when she sat down to make the track with producer Rodney Jerkins, it was also the antic-loving rap outfit Odd Future who sonically creeped inside her and totally shaped the record's sound.
" 'Big Hoops' is a special tune for me for a few different reasons," Furtado told MTV News when she stopped by our office Tuesday to discuss the thumping anthem about loving your jewelry and, more importantly, yourself.
"The state of mind I was in, I was actually listening to a lot of different music a few weeks before," she continued. "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.' "
When Furtado decided to embrace her own power, she crafted a tune that expresses who she is when she is onstage — full of bravado and holding her "sword," her microphone. "Hoops" also pays homage to the girl she was as a teen growing up in Canada, hoping to become pop star she is today.
"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," Furtado recalled.
She also shared that, in addition to working on her looks back then, she was also "writing rhymes and hanging out and freestyling on the corner and feeling famous already, even though I clearly wasn't at 14."
Despite not yet having fame and fortune, she explained, there was an emotion she felt then that she still feels now: "But I felt [famous], and I think when you're that age, you have your inner gumption already," she said. "So 'Big Hoops' taps into that power."
"Hoops" is the lead single off her upcoming album, The Spirit Indestructible, out in September. It's her first English-language album since the chart-topping Loose, which she released in 2006. She dropped a Spanish-language album, Mi Plan, in 2009.