Nelly Furtado Talks Return to Music, Working With Dom Dolla for ‘Eat Your Man’ and Why Drake Told Her to ‘Boss Up’

Nelly Furtado gives fans the first taste of her long-anticipated return to music with the release of her new Dom Dolla-produced single — and her first in five years — titled “Eat Your Man.” Furtado pays lyrical homage to some of her most recognizable hits (ahem, “Maneater”) in the hypnotic club anthem that marks her re-entrance into the limelight.

“I have been making new music solid, nonstop for the last year the way I like to: late nights, space to create wildly and loads of community and collaboration,” Nelly tells Variety. “I am making a pop album influenced by sounds that I love. My album touches on dance — I did a record with SG Lewis that I adore. T-Minus produced my Bomba Estereo song. T-Minus is a beast! I am proud of that record. One of my favorite tunes is produced by Wonda Gurl – I love her energy.”

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The story of “Eat Your Man” goes as follows: Nelly reached out to the Australian EDM producer after seeing they would both be headlining Australia’s 2022 Beyond the Valley Festival in Dom’s hometown. During Nelly’s set, Dom played a mash-up of his funky, synth-infused track “Take It,” mixed with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Nelly’s 2007 radio smash, “Give It to Me.” She later recruited the producer, whose sound she describes as resembling “butter — undeniably tasty,” and the two jumped on the opportunity of collaborating for Nelly’s album.

Dom remembers, “We were in Philadelphia, driving to a studio in the suburbs, and Nelly turned to me and said ‘I think I want to be on a Dom Dolla club record'” — and from there the idea to “make an amalgamation of all of Nelly’s hits, but take it to the club,” was born.

“Nelly has dance music in her DNA, that was clear to me early on,” adds Dom. “We realized that we generally have very similar influences on music which has made the process really enjoyable… There are some amazing Nelly remixes in dance music.”

“Fly like a bird, I’m taking it home,” Furtado sings in “Eat Your Man,” referencing her 2000 hit “I’m Like a Bird,” as the bass line buzzes, and she declares: “I’ll eat your man, devour him whole.”

The Canadian singer-songwriter has not dropped a full-length record since 2017’s “The Ride,” a merging of R&B and pop piano ballads released on her own label. And as she approaches the release of her seventh studio album, Nelly returns to music with the power of positivity by her side — along with a few artistic nudges from fellow creatives like Dom and Drake, with whom she performed as a surprise guest for his All-Canadian North Stars event in Toronto last summer — her first on-stage appearance since “The Ride.”

“I have more gratitude nowadays so I realize how blessed I am to be a performer and creator… I’m really leaning into my profession,” she says. “I met Drake a year ago and we had some deep conversations about life and art and he blew up my head reminding me what a valuable artist I am and told me to ‘boss up’ and make new music, and I listened,” she laughs before adding, “So, I couldn’t say no when he invited me on stage, I had to be brave and boss up and start the next chapter.”

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