Ten years ago, you couldn’t go into a club or turn on the car radio without hearing Nelly Furtado. Her infectious pop songs – notably ‘Promiscuous’ and ‘Maneater’ from her third album Loose – were honestly everywhere and no one was exempt from escaping them. Not even Furtado herself, which was wherein the problem lay, she now says.
“Fame took me by surprise,” the now 38-year-old told the Mail on Sunday. “It was too much too soon.”
And then, without warning, she seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth. No more dance tracks. No more collaborations with Timbaland. Nothing. But what caused the retreat?
"I had a nervous breakdown on stage," Furtado now explains. "I was on the Loose tour and my daughter was with me — I was being a mum and a singer on the road. I was exhausted."
"One night I went on stage and I suddenly realised how stressed-out I was. I actually cried my way through the first two songs," she explains.
Two years of touring her highly successful album and partying along the way left her burnt out and feeling unsure about her place in the world, the mum-of-one says.
"I’d spend hours alone in my LA home, just staring at the floor. I felt like a fraud, believing that people liked me for my image and not my music," she says.
So, after realising she desperately needed a break, she took one.
And somehow, time continued to roll on and Furtado didn't return to music. She says she took classes in sewing, playwriting and pottery. She severed ties with her record label and began to go out on her own more and more.
“I took a break from music and went home," she said. "And I realised that being at home and having the whole family experience was what I was seeking," she says.
But incredibly, ten years after that iconic and impossible time in her life, Furtado is returning to music once more, releasing her first album in five years.
Titled The Ride, Furtado says that doing things her way is now the most important thing for her. "This era is raw," Furtado says. "I own this album, I’m a fully independent artist, and that’s really cool."