Powerless (Say What You Want)

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"Powerless (Say What You Want)"
Single by Nelly Furtado
from the album Folklore
Released 7 October 2003 (2003-10-07)
Format
Recorded 2003
Length 3:53
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Track & Field
  • Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado singles chronology
"Fotografía"
(2003)
"Powerless (Say What You Want)"
(2003)
"Try"
(2004)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Powerless (Say What You Want)" is a pop song written by Nelly Furtado, Gerald Eaton and Brian West for Furtado's second studio album, Folklore (2003). It contains a sample of Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" which was written by Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn and Malcolm McLaren. It was produced by Furtado and Track & Field and was chosen to be the lead single from the album, released in December 2003. Banjo player Béla Fleck appears on the track.

Background[edit]

"Powerless" addresses how Furtado herself was discriminated against in that her record company wanted to hide her ancestry: "Paint my face in your magazines/Make it look whiter than it seems/Paint me over with your dreams/Shove away my ethnicity". Of the song. Furtado said: "I get to see a lot of DJ-oriented performance stuff, and I'm into the heaviness of breakbeats, how raw and powerful they are. Everything lately has become so synthesized, but just the standard sound of breakbeats is inspiring. 'Powerless' uses breakbeats like that; it's a real groove, a real vibe. It just carries you away. There’s a banjo mixed with a breakbeat from elements of Malcolm McLaren's 'Buffalo Gals.' So right away you're bobbing your head. The lyrics are initially in-your-face, like, 'Okay, I know I'm going to be stereotyped in my life because that is the world we live in; that's society.' But the song tries to find some sense of order in this complicated world." The song won Single of the year at the 2004 Juno Awards.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Bryan Barber and was shot in the period of three days.[1] The video revolves around a classic psychological metaphor: Nelly trapped inside a box from which she seeks to escape. Inside, the box is plastered with posters that act as doors or windows for the artist’s imagination. Her situation is a metaphor for being both defined and confined by the illusory commercial reality of her celebrity and beauty. The video was shot on various sets and dressed locations, and in a large customized box crate, which were all created by production designer Aaron Goffman. Using Photoshop and Illustrator, Moneyshots designed the posters and graphics that surround Nelly in the box and added the transitions that transport Nelly back and forth between the imprisoning box and the poster environments that signify the escape self-expression can bring.[2]
There is an alternate version of the video featuring Nelly in a field, and shown in several screens in different parts of a city, showing the movements of the modern life.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single[3]
  1. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Album Version) - 3:53
  2. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Josh Desi Remix) - 3:12
  3. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Alternative Acoustic Mix) - 3:47
German 2-track single
  1. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Album Version) - 3:53
  2. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Alternative Acoustic Mix) - 3:47
German 4-track single[4][5]
  1. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Album Version) - 3:53
  2. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Alternative Acoustic Mix) - 3:47
  3. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Josh Desi Remix) - 3:47
  4. "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Instrumental Version) - 3:53

Remixes[edit]

  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Lema & Moor Remix) (9:09)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Lema & Moor Dub Mix) (8:16)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Junior's Sound Factory Remix) (8:13)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Junior Vasquez World Mix) (7:39)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Chab Extended Edit Mix) (8:33)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Chab Remix) (8:15)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Josh Desi Remix) (3:16)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Josh Desi Extended Remix)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Wideife's Outside Lookin In Mix) (9:49)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Midnight Society's Tribal Bushwack Mix) (12:24)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (OrangeFuzzz Powerful Club Mix) (7:41)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (OrangeFuzzz Powerful Radio Mix) (3:55)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (OrangeFuzzz Powerful A Capella Mix) (6:10)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (M'Silver Boots Tribal Dub 2005 Mix) (7:16)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Dario Lauria Remix) (4:52)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Leanh's vs. Peter C Edit Mix) (3:16)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (DJ Sonda Remix) (3:15)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (DJ Marakana Remix) (4:02)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (DJ Gemini Edit)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Maroon Mix) (3:52)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Max 2 vs. DJ Zenom Remix)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Mint Tea Dancehall Mix) (3:42)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Alternative Acoustic Mix) (3:47)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Sox Mix; featuring Shankini) (4:09)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Radio Edit) (3:52)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Album Version) (3:53)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Radio Version)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Instrumental Version) (3:53)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (LP Version) (3:53)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (A Capella) (3:25)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Non Bonjo Version) (3:33)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Acoustic Version) (3:45)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Call Out Hook) (0:13)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Swerve Cover)
  • "Powerless (Say What You Want)" (Latin Radio Edit)
  • "Abre Tu Corazon" (Spanish Remix)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003-04)[6][7] Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 37
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 7
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[10] 6
Germany (Media Control Charts)[11] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 36
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 16
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 37
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 13
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[18] 30
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[19] 16
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[20] 5

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States 7 October 2003 Hot AC radio[21]
Mainstream radio[22]
Canada[23] 21 November 2003 Maxi single Universal
United Kingdom[24] 8 December 2003 Polydor
Germany[25] 15 December 2003 Universal
United Kingdom[26] 21 January 2004 Digital download Polydor
Germany[27] 2 February 2004 CD single Universal

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Video director"
  2. ^ "Powerless video details"
  3. ^ "UK CD Single"
  4. ^ "CD single"
  5. ^ Nelly Furtado - Powerless (Say What You Want)
  6. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Powerless (say What You Want): Charts". Music Square. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
  7. ^ "Folklore > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Nelly Furtado Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Nelly Furtado.
  11. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Furtado,Nelly > Powerless – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ "Chart Track: Week 03, 2004". Irish Singles Chart.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Singles Top 60.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Nelly Furtado: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Nelly Furtado Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Nelly Furtado.
  19. ^ "Nelly Furtado Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Nelly Furtado.
  20. ^ "Nelly Furtado Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Nelly Furtado.
  21. ^ http://gfa.radioandrecords.com/publishGFA/GFANextPage.asp?sDate=10/07/2003&Format=10
  22. ^ http://gfa.radioandrecords.com/publishGFA/GFANextPage.asp?sDate=10/07/2003&Format=1
  23. ^ http://www.amazon.ca/Powerless-Say-What-You-Want/dp/B0000UH76U
  24. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerless-Nelly-Furtado/dp/B000127MJY
  25. ^ http://www.amazon.de/Powerless-Nelly-Furtado/dp/B0000UH76U
  26. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005P23YKG
  27. ^ http://www.amazon.de/Powerless-Furtado-Nelly/dp/B0001HOWWY

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Complicated" by Avril Lavigne
Juno Award for Single of the Year
2004
Succeeded by
"Crabbuckit" by k-os