Two of the brightest female stars in urban-oriented pop got their starts in music as young teenagers or pre-teens. Canada’s Nelly Furtado, a GRAMMY-winning artist, formed a trip-hop duo called Nelstar when she was 18 and had been in an all-girl trio before that. Scotland’s Emeli Sandé, who has three Brit Awards to her name, was singing r&b and gospel in London at 16. Nelly and Emeli have bold new singles out this week.
Nelly Furtado: “Islands of Me”
Nelly’s first teaser from her forthcoming album The Ride is a slice of shimmering, thumping pop. “Is this the meaning of bein’ free?” she sings. “The only one of us living is me, is this our true destiny.” Nelly says the song is about “narcissism, lust, isolation and altruism.”
Nelly got sweetly nostalgic about her youthful roots on Twitter, tweeting a photo of herself in her girl group when she was 14.
All choked up looking at this photo of my first band, "Teenage Business" circa 1992, right before the break-up. pic.twitter.com/eXK0NhCCdC
— Nelly Furtado (@NellyFurtado) September 13, 2016
Emeli Sandé: “Hurts”
Emeli has also released her first new single in a while, which will be featured on her November album Long Live the Angels. A big emotional number, it features Emeli singing about her vulnerability over insistent handclaps and symphonic strings: “Baby, I’m not made of stone, it hurts.”
Emeli used Instagram to post news about her new single, with a photo showing her sporting a leather jacket and her trademark blonde hairdo.
Hello! music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.