*SPOILER ALERT* Nelly Furtado and K'NAAN are totally going to win Best Video With A Message at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. OK, FINE, I don't actually know if they'll win a shiny Moonman for their epic video "Is Anybody Out There," but I sure as hell want them to!
On the heels of her Spirit Indestructible release, my girl Nelly Furtado isn't just this year's contender with a message, she's seriously an all-around artist with a message. Since her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, the Canadian songstress has released countless tracks about following your passion ("Forca"), showing naysayers what's up ("Spirit Indestructible"), and speaking up against injustice ("Powerless"). She recently told me in an interview, "The first time I got on the stage I was four, and I got out there and I did a duet with my mom. And what I remember the most is I felt like I made everybody smile, you know, I recognized that I was spreading positive energy and it just stuck in my head that I just wanted to share that energy, I think it's important."
And now Nelly's sharing positive energy beyond the airwaves. The singer recently spent time in Kenya where she teamed up with the non-profit Free The Children to raise money to build children's schools in the country. "I felt this community joy for the first time [in Kenya]" she told me. "I felt like I really had a bigger purpose, you know, and it just inspired me to make an album that I could connect all that energy with." Her new album hears African children singing on its deluxe version and has even spawned tanks with "Spirit Indestructible" emblazoned across the front; with each sale, another a Kenyan school is subsidized.
So VMA Gods, if you're out there, please send a moonman down to my girl Nelly and her boy K'NAAN. Because nobody has got a heart quite like they do. Watch my exclusive interview with Nelly Furtado below!