Calgary Stampede 2015

July 3-12 2015

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Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado at the Coca-Cola Stage

Nelly Furtado

Her career has spanned two decades, reaching every part of the globe. Five albums. Over 16+ million records sold worldwide. Her name is Nelly Furtado, and the Grammy Award-winning, chart-topping luminary is back like she never left. Get ready for The Ride.

The year was 2013 when Nelly Furtado made a concerted effort to take a well-deserved hiatus from the spotlight. Her fifth studio album The Spirit Indestructible gave way to a world tour that stretched from winter of 2012 through summer of 2013. It was time to take a break.

As an Ambassador for Free The Children since 2010, Nelly has enjoyed travels to rural Kenya, working with small villages to help build schools and music programs, as well as conduct songwriting workshops. She would bring along her daughter as well, and would perform for 2,000 children who had no idea of her celebrity status. “They just thought I was their music teacher,” she humbly advises.

The experiences birthed several songs that would join The Ride. The pensive song “Pipe Dreams” was written while on a water walk in Narok County, Kenya, learning how the local Kenyan women find water for their villages. “Palaces” was another, discussing feelings of disillusionment. “We are being sold a dream. The dream is not real,” she says. “None of this stuff matters.” When she returned from her trip, her mindset was permanently changed. “I was directly changing a lot of patterns in my life after that,” she adds.

A trip to Chile to visit her best friend also proved to be fortuitous, as Nelly penned “Magic” while sipping on wine in Santiago and reflecting on unrequited love. “Hopefully it’s the last unrequited song I will ever write,” she jokes. “That last little exorcism.” She pieced “Tap Dancing” together, following a visit to her former label Interscope with her new manager. After observing Nelly around the executives, he asked, “’Why are you tap dancing? You are who you are. You don’t need to tap dance for anyone.’ That’s when I realized I had been tap dancing probably for my entire life.” That moment fueled Nelly’s decision to release her sixth studio album independently through Nelstar Entertainment. “I’m so grateful that I had a major label where I could do so much,” she says of her previous label. “But I don’t like having a filter between my creativity and the finished product. I’m grateful that I can own my music and make something today and release it tomorrow.”

Nelly continued her journey on The Ride in rural England, connecting with producer Mark Taylor after a decade (the two worked together on James Morrison’s “Broken Strings”) penning “Phoenix” and its B-Side “Bliss,” along with the Taylor penned “Sticks and Stones.”

The result is a bold comeback project, signifying the return of an artist who lives unapologetically and is geared to bring everyone back on The Ride with her. Having global accolades and a music career that is nothing short of legendary, Nelly Furtado has indeed been on quite a ride. However, for her, that isn’t always about hopping on, but getting back off. It’s where her inspiration lives and she feels most at home. “It’s okay to maybe get off The Ride once in a while,” she says, “and reflect on everything you’ve experienced.”

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Monday, July 10 at 9:00 p.m.

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