Alexa, Play "Maneater"

Nelly Furtado Is Stunned That She’s Making A Comeback On TikTok

“Maybe I’m a one-hit wonder,’ but 20 years have gone by and people still like my music."

Simon Hofmann/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Nelly Furtado, one of pop’s most timeless hitmakers, has returned to the scene. Then again, it never felt like the singer truly left. Over the last two years, Furtado’s presence could be felt on TikTok, where her nostalgic hits “Say It Right,” “Give It To Me” and “Promiscuous” (clearly, the platform believes in Nelly-Timbaland supremacy) have regained popularity. In a way, it feels like time’s repeating itself. These riveting tracks were inescapable in the early 2000s. Now, a new age of listeners can’t go on a TikTok scrolling binge without hearing those same rhythmic bops. For Furtado, that reality is mind-blowing.

“When it comes to my legacy, it has only started to connect in the last few years because of TikTok,” Furtado told Fault in a May 22 interview. “One day, my daughter said, ‘Mom, your music is trending on TikTok.’ I didn’t even have TikTok on my phone, and I didn’t know how to use it.” The Canadian singer eventually joined the platform in October 2020, where she began making videos with her daughter.

According to Furtado, that’s when she realized her career was going through a well-deserved renaissance. “I found out why the DJs were playing [my] old songs and discovered that people want to celebrate and have fun to my music,” she said, reflecting on her initial thoughts when she became a singer. “When I started in this business, people would say, ‘Oh, maybe I’m a one-hit wonder,’ but 20 years have gone by and people still like my music.

Furtado’s career first took flight in 2001 with “I’m Like A Bird.” The folk-pop hit was memorable enough to build her a fanbase; however, it wasn’t until Furtado slipped in her ‘good girl gone bad’ pop era in 2006 that all eyes were glued on her. That year, the singer released her Timbaland-produced album, Loose. This glossy record unearthed all the hits that’s become viral sounds on TikTok, including “Maneater.” With those crisp, high-resolution beats and slinky hi-hats, the duo created sonic gold that still hits with ease over a decade later.

That chemistry dripped over to Timbaland’s 2007 Shock Value, where the two united with Justin Timberlake (who was also creating back-to-back heat with the producer at the time) to release “Give It To Me.” This track’s groove was so infectious that many overlooked the lyrical content, which saw each artist throwing shade at other artists. Allegedly, Timbaland’s verse was a diss to producer Scott Scorch, Furtado’s braggadocious one-liners were an aim at Fergie, and Timberlake came for the late Prince. That latter was certainly... a choice.

Christopher Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Furtado took a brief break from music, before returning in 2012. Her then stint was rather short, and fans wouldn’t hear another record from the singer until 2017’s The Ride. Now, with a renewed interest in creating music, Furtado explained she’s been putting her creativity to use.

“I’ve surrounded myself with so many creative people in the studio over the last year,” she said, revealing she’s recorded “a hundred songs in the last 18 months.” “I’ve taken a ‘the more, the merrier’ approach and understood that you have to be open to staying excited and fresh. It’s all about staying creative, being out there, listening to music, and being in the mix.”

Furtado’s long-awaited comeback couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only is her discography being praised on TikTok, but her “Give It To Me” collaborators are also reuniting to work together. In April, Timbaland told Variety he’s working on Timberlake’s new project, which will embody that suave flare from their collaborative 2006 album, FutureSex /LoveSounds. With these three music legends returning to the scene, let’s hope another collaboration is in the works.