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Story of a Song: Nelly Furtado Talks about "Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)"


It's been a few years since Nelly Furtado last released English-language material, but now that she's back with "Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)," we can all agree that it has sure been worth the way. "I bet you've never heard something like that," Furtado rightfully boasts in the chorus of "Big Hoops, a bold and boisterous pop joint that shows off Furtado's love for classic hip hop and genre-pushing grooves.

In a press release I received from her U.K. agent, Furtado talks in depth about "Big Hoops" and her forthcoming new album, "The Spirit Indestructible," which she co-wrote with Rodney Jerkins. To satisfy your appetite for everything Nelly and to provide a candid look into her creative process, I decided to print the singer's entire statement in the paragraphs below.

Nelly explains in the email, "One of the first songs I did with Rodney was, 'Big Hoops.' I kinda, when I was writing it, I kinda came into this mindset of myself at about age 14 you know, growing up in my small town but living, living this life that was full of this wonderful RnB and hip hop music that I listened to and it became sort of part of my lifestyle and my friends and I we lived, it was the soundtrack of that time in my life."

Furtado continues, "And so in all the verses I kinda reference my favourite RnB and hip hop groups. The idea, my verse kinda goes, 'Tonight's the jam, I’ll be there till dawn. I'm going down I got my big hoops on. Pant legs so wide, I got my backpack on. I’m going to hear my favourite song.' That’s just the essence I think of my life as a teenager and really loving hip hop music and loving RnB and loving that element of being at a party and anyone can grab the microphone at any moment and deliver a message or just have that swagger about you and I think there’s a certain unique swagger you have at that young age and that the music gives you. I think that’s the zone of that song, The Bigger the Better."

"I mean I used to grab the mic at parties and jams and just kinda freestyle and do sort of my own style of singing freestyle at parties," Furtado writes. "It was all very innocent and fun. The music was very fun. I mean it’s this sort of nostalgia I guess in a sense the song really takes me to that zone again and I’m really feeling that swagger when I listen to it and really loving it."

"So ya, I can’t wait to perform it live it's going to be a lot of fun. A lot, a lot of fun! It’s about making music that's fun. I think music can take you all kinds of places, clearly! As a little kid growing up in suburban Victoria to be transported through the music to be feeling the same things as anyone else listening to the same music anywhere in the world in any neighbourhood is kinda magical.

"I think music is magic, clearly. So for me, it’s almost like when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and is in a new world. That’s what music does to me, sometimes it can transport me and I know it transports me not only when I make music but when I listen to something I really love. You can take on a role when you hear something, it can be your soundtrack to mischief, and it can be your soundtrack to sadness."

"I feel really blessed. It’s been fun. The other crazy thing I didn’t even think about before but now realize since we’re talking about 'Big Hoops' and the whole thing behind it. This is even weirder; this is where you're going to go 'woah.'  It wasn't until after I did that song that I went and took the time to look at the plaque on Rodney's studio wall and then I started realising that he actually was a part of and produced many of those songs that I loved so much at that time in my life. He was a part of that."

He also even toured with some of those bands. He was a part of that whole era. And so that just flipped me out – so hard to explain." (Download Nelly Furtado "Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)" on iTunes.)