The story behind Nelly Furtado’s ‘Say It Right’

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Nelly Furtado is among the most significant music artists ever. She actually won Grammy award for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’ in 2002 for her song ‘I’m Like A Bird’.

In my opinion her best song is actually ‘Say It Right’ which also features Timbaland. It was released on 31st October 2006 as the 3rd single from her 3rd studio album ‘Loose’.

Nelly was in the recording studio with Timbaland at around 4 am. Timbaland suggested her to go home and rest but she was adamant on producing the song. Timbaland and Nate Hills joined her in writing and producing the song.

They experimented with different sounds to produce the song and eventually came up with it.

When you listen to it—there’s a lot of dimension. It kind of sounds like Timbaland is in another country. We experimented a lot with depth and different sounds. It affected my vocals a whole lot.

It captures the feeling I had when I wrote it, and it taps into this other sphere.

Nelly Furtado on ‘Say It Right’

Song Meaning

Nelly wrote the song based on her feelings at that time and she herself admitted that she couldn’t pin point to exactly what was being spoken. It was more of what she felt like in the moment and she captured it in her lyrics.

However, the romantic theme of the song is evident and according to sources, Nelly had claimed that the song was inspired from her separation with DJ Jasper Gahunia who she dated in early 2000s and who was also the father to her daughter.

She is emphasizing the fact that he no longer means anything to her although from the lyrics, it is certain that she feels the sad about the separation.

The lines in her lyrics can be viewed as inspirational lines or casual pieces of advice. The song is called it ‘Say It Right’ even though the phrase is used only once in the beginning. The idea could be that one should be careful of what they say to anyone.

Anyway, that was my takeaway on the song. Let me know your opinion in the comments below.

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