Manos al Aire

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"Manos al Aire"
Manos Al Aire Single by Nelly Furtado.jpg
Single by Nelly Furtado
from the album Mi Plan
ReleasedJune 29, 2009 (2009-06-29)
FormatCD, digital download, EP
StudioRumblecone Studios
The Orange Lounge
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
GenreLatin pop, pop rock, dance
Length3:29 (Album Version)
LabelUniversal Music Latino
Songwriter(s)Nelly Furtado, Alex Cuba, James Bryan
Producer(s)Nelly Furtado, James Bryan
Nelly Furtado singles chronology
"Broken Strings"
"Manos al Aire"
Audio sample

"Manos al Aire" (English: "Hands in the Air") is a Spanish language Latin pop song recorded by Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado. Written by Furtado, Alex Cuba and James Bryan, it was produced by Furtado and Bryan for the former's fourth studio album, Mi Plan (2009). The song, which translates to "Hands in the Air" or "I surrender", is about "surrendering to love, and vulnerability", as Furtado put it. She felt that the song could only be sung in Spanish because it would be a "train-wreck" if it were sung in English because of the complexity of the lyrics.

It was released by Universal Music Latino as the first single to worldwide radio on June 29, 2009. "Manos al Aire" reached number-one on the US Billboard Latin Songs chart, becoming Furtado's first number-one song on the chart as a lead artist. Furtado also became the first North American act to have an originally written Spanish song to reach number-one on the chart. It peaked at number two in Germany, Czech Republic and Italy. It also peaked within the top 10 in Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and Spain. The music video of the song was filmed in Toronto and it portrayed Furtado as an angry lover who, during the video, throws away personal belongings and items, and removing articles of clothing which symbolizes her letting her guard down and surrendering to love. The song won a BMI Award in 2011.[1][2]

Background and writing[edit]

"Manos al Aire" was co-written by Nelly Furtado, James Bryan and Alex Cuba, and produced by Furtado and Bryan. It is a Latin pop song with "a slice of pop/rock with twangy guitars, tight drums and terrific breathy vocals" and has acoustic and dance influences[3][4] The song's title translates to "Hands in the Air" or "I Surrender".[5] Furtado told MTV that the song is about "surrendering to love, and vulnerability ... and it talks about the dynamic of a relationship and the everyday fight to be a couple".[6] Furtado felt that the emotions that the lyrics portray could only be expressed in Spanish because, as she put it: "There's a complexity going on there that would be a bit of a train-wreck in English."[7][8] In an interview with Mayor Nissim, of Digital Spy, she further explained the conception of the song. She said that the song's protagonist feels angry but during the chorus says, as she put it, "My hands are in the air, let's work this out". Furtado also felt that if the song was performed in English, she would be labelled "furious or sappy" because of the content.[9] It was recorded by Bryan at the Rumblecone Studios and The Orange Lounge in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and mixed by Demacio "Demo" Castellón.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Mayer Nissim of Digital Spy said: "the fact that 'Manos' and several other songs feature rather Americanised production can prevent them from completely hitting the mark - sad to say, but Furtado's tunes don't always get the Spanish wallop her vocals deserve."[3] Leila Cobo stated that the song "doesn't set the tone for the album, which balances intimacy with commercial appeal."[11]

Michael Cragg, of musicOMH, called the song "a catchy blend of rock guitars and pattering beats". He also wrote that the chorus-line is "one of the few that genuinely stick in the mind".[12]

Chart performance[edit]

The single was well received in the United States. During its third week on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, it ascended from number 30 to number 13.[13] After two weeks at number two, "Manos al Aire" replaced Shakira's "Loba" at number-one the Billboard Latin Songs chart, during the week dated September 12, 2009.[14][15] It became Furtado's first number one song as a lead artist, and her second since Juanes' "Fotografía" topped the chart in 2002.[15] Shakira's "Loba" had regained its place at number-one, ending the song's four week stint at the top spot.[16][17]

In Italy, "Manos al Aire" debuted at number two and remained at the spot for two consecutive weeks.[18] After it fluctuated down the chart, it climbed up back into the top 10 and remained for four weeks until it left the chart three weeks later.[18] The song peaked at number nine for two consecutive weeks, after spending 10 weeks on the chart in Spain.[19]

Music video[edit]

Furtado and her on-screen lover fighting in the couple's counsellor office

The music video for "Manos al Aire" was filmed in June 2009 in Toronto and premiered on July 29, 2009.[20] It was released to Apple's iTunes Store on August 3, 2009.[21] In the beginning of the video, Furtado is shown driving an army jeep and sporting army gear, all of which she said represents her character's strong ego.[22] As the video progresses, Furtado is shown throwing items and personal belongings out of the Army truck. These belongings are symbolized as her "emotional" weapons. In another scene, Furtado departs from the truck, and begins walking down a street.[23] She also begins shedding her army gear and getting rid of her purse and other articles of clothing, all of which symbolizes letting her guard and defenses down.[20][23] As the video comes to a conclusion, Furtado, who is vulnerable, shows up to her boyfriend's frontdoor, who greets her with the same defenseless attitude.[23] Per Furtado's request, the video features English subtitles for viewers. The lyrics in the English subtitles for the video are not literal translations, they are an English interpretation of the song, which Furtado herself had written.[7][24]

Track listing[edit]

German 2-track single[25]
  1. "Manos al Aire" — 3:28
  2. "Manos al Aire" (Robbie Rivera Radio Mix) — 3:35
German 4-track single[26]
  1. "Manos al Aire" — 3:28
  2. "Manos al Aire" (Robbie Rivera Radio Mix) — 3:35
  3. "Manos al Aire" (Robbie Rivera Juicy Mix) — 7:07
  4. "Manos al Aire" (Robbie Rivera Radio Mix Instrumental) — 3:33


Credits are adapted from the Mi Plan liner notes.[10]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2009–10) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[27] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[28] 20
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[29] 2
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[30] 8
France (SNEP)[31] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[32] 2
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[33] 8
Italy (FIMI)[34] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[35] 92
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[36] 2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[37] 9
Spanish Airplay Chart[38] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 6
US Hot Latin Songs (Billboard)[40] 1
US Latin Tropical Songs (Billboard)[41] 1
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[42] 26
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[43] 4

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Position
Austrian Singles Chart[44] 44
German Singles Chart[45] 36
Hungarian Airplay Chart[46] 56
Italian Singles Chart[47] 24
Spanish Top 50[48] 43
Swiss Singles Chart[49] 51
US Billboard Latin Songs[50] 15


Country Certification
Spain[48] Gold

Radio and release dates[edit]

List of radio and release dates with formats and record labels
Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom[51] June 26, 2009 (2009-06-26) Digital download Universal Music Latino
Worldwide[52] June 29, 2009 (2009-06-29) Official radio premier
Belgium[53] Digital download Universal Music
Spain[57] June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30)
Austria June 31, 2009 (2009-06-31) Digital download,[58] maxi-single[59]
Italy[60] July 10, 2009 (2009-07-10) Digital download
Germany[26] July 31, 2009 (2009-07-31) CD single
Belgium[61] August 25, 2009 (2009-08-25) Remixes EP Universal Music Latino
Canada[62] September 8, 2009 (2009-09-08)
United States[63]
United Kingdom[64] September 10, 2009 (2009-09-10)
Portugal[65] September 14, 2009 (2009-09-14)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2011 BMI Latin Awards Winners List". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. ^ Russell Hall. "Spotlight: First-Time BMI Songwriting Award Winners". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b Nissim, Mayer (Posted: September 13, 2009) Music - Album Review - Nelly Furtado: 'Mi Plan' - Digital Spy. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  4. ^ Cobo, Leila (Posted: July 13, 2009)"Nelly Furtado, 'Manos Al Aire'". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Levine, Nick (Posted: October 7, 2009)"Nelly Furtado - Music Interview - Digital Spy". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  6. ^ MTV Music (Posted: August 29, 2009) "New Video: Nelly Furtado, 'Manos al Aire'". MTV Networks. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Vena, Jocelyn (Posted: August 5, 2009) "Nelly Furtado Says Singing In Spanish On Mi Plan Felt 'Natural'" MTV Networks. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Levine, Nick (Posted: October 7, 2009) "Nelly Furtado - Music Interview". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  9. ^ Nissim, Mayor (Posted: September 14, 2009) "Furtado: 'Spanish helps express emotion' - Music News" Digital Spy. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b (2009) Album notes for Mi Plan by Nelly Furtado [Booklet]. Nelstar Entertainment, Inc. Miami, FL.
  11. ^ Cobo, Leila (Posted: September 12, 2009) "Mi Plan". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  12. ^ Cragg, Michael (Posted: September 14, 2009) "Nelly Furtado - Mi Plan - Album Review". Archived 2010-05-18 at the Wayback Machine. OMH. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  13. ^ Cobo, Leila (Posted: August 6, 2009) "Nelly Furtado's 'Manos,' Jenni Rivera's 'Ovarios' Leap On Charts". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  14. ^ "Latin Music: Top Latin Songs - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Chart Beat Thursday: Colbie Caillat, Black Eyed Peas, Prince". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  16. ^ Trust, Gary (Posted: September 24, 2009) "Chart Beat Thursday: Live-Blogging The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  17. ^ "Latin Music: Top Latin Songs - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  18. ^ a b " - Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". FIMI. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  19. ^ " - Nelly Furtado - Manos al aire". PROMUSICAE. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Video Premier: Nelly Furtado's 'Manos al Aire'". MTV Networks / Blogamole. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  21. ^ "Manos al Aire (With English Subtitles) by Nelly Furtado". iTunes Store. Apple Inc.. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  22. ^ (Posted: July 28, 2009) "Behind-the-Scenes of Nelly Furtado's 'Manos Al Aire' Music Video". Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  23. ^ a b c (Posted: July 28, 2009) "International Video Premiere: "Manos al Aire". Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine. (in Spanish). Univision Communications. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  24. ^ Furtado, Nelly (Posted: August 15, 2009) ["Nelly Furtado : News : Message from Nelly".] Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  25. ^ Manos al Aire - Single by Nelly Furtado iTunes. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Manos al Aire: Nelly Furtado: Musik". Amazon Germany. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  27. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  28. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  29. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200940 into search.
  30. ^ "Nelly Furtado – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Nelly Furtado.
  31. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire" (in French). Les classement single.
  32. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  33. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  34. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire". Top Digital Download.
  35. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  36. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200936 into search.
  37. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire" Canciones Top 50.
  38. ^ "Promusicae (Week: January 1, 2009)" (PDF). Retrieved July 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire". Swiss Singles Chart.
  40. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Hot Latin Songs)". Billboard.
  41. ^ Nelly Furtado - Artist Chart History Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  42. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  44. ^ Steffen Hung (2009-12-25). "Jahreshitparade 2009". Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  45. ^ ":: MTV | Single Jahrescharts 2009 | charts". 2009-12-29. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  46. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2010" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  47. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Ricerche e dati di mercato". 2010-01-19. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  48. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  49. ^ Steffen Hung. "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2009". Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  50. ^ "Latin Songs : Page 1 - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  51. ^ "Manos al Aire - Single by Nelly Furtado". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  52. ^ (Posted: June 22, 2009) "Nelly Furtado Single 'Manos Al Aire' (Hands in the Air) to be Released Worldwide On June 29th". Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  53. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  54. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Archived 2011-09-07 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  55. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  56. ^ Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Archived 2011-09-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  57. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  58. ^ "Nelly Furtado- Manos al Aire". Archived 2009-12-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  59. ^ "Nelly Furtado- Manos al Aire pro track". Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  60. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  61. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire (World Mixes)". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  62. ^ "Manos al Aire (World Remixes) - EP by Nelly Furtado". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  63. ^ Manos al Aire (World Mixes) - EP by Nelly Furtado iTunes. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  64. ^ "Manos al Aire - EP by Nelly Furtado". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  65. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Manos al Aire". Retrieved July 19, 2011.

External links[edit]