Powerless (Say What You Want)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Powerless (Say What You Want)"
Powerless (Say What You Want).png
Single by Nelly Furtado
from the album Folklore
Released7 October 2003 (2003-10-07)
Recorded2003
Length3:53
LabelDreamWorks
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Track & Field
  • Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado singles chronology
"Fotografía"
(2003)
"Powerless (Say What You Want)"
(2003)
"Try"
(2004)

"Powerless (Say What You Want)" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado from her second studio album, Folklore (2003). The song was written and produced by Gerald Eaton, Brian West and Furtado herself. It contains a sample of Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" which was written by Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn and Malcolm McLaren. It was released as the album's lead single in October 2003. Banjo player Béla Fleck appears on the track.

Background[edit]

"Powerless (Say What You Want)" 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". According to Furtado, "I noticed that when I turned on the TV, I didn't really see anybody that looked like me. So it's really important for me to keep that realness in me and always remember where I came from, while at the same time always entertaining people. I like music to be inclusive." Furtado also commented on gaining strength through the things that are truly important, saying that "real power comes from not caring about power and just letting yourself be free" and affirming that it is "good to have balance in life".[1]

Of the instrumentation, 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 over three days.[2] 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.[3]

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[4]

  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[5][6]

  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

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States 7 October 2003 Hot AC radio DreamWorks [33]
Mainstream radio [34]
Canada 21 November 2003 Maxi single Universal Music [35]
United Kingdom 8 December 2003 Polydor [36]
Germany 15 December 2003 Universal Music [37]
United Kingdom 21 January 2004 Digital download Polydor [38]
Germany 2 February 2004 CD Universal Music [39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nelly Furtado Mashes Cultures (And A Bumblebee) Together For New Video". MTV. 12 November 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Powerless by Nelly Furtado: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Powerless - Amazon.com Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Powerless (Say What You Want) (CD)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  11. ^ Nelly Furtado — Powerless (Say What You Want). Tophit. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  13. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Nelly Furtado". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 2004" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Arhiva romanian top 100 – Editia 17, saptamina 26.04 – 02.05, 2004" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 21 February 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Powerless (Say What You Want)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "CIS Year-End Radio Hits (2003)". Tophit. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 2004" (in German). Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 2004" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 2004". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2004" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2004" (in German). Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ "Powerless (Say What You Want): Nelly Furtado". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Powerless by Nelly Furtado". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  37. ^ "Powerless - Nelly Furtado". Amazon.de. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  38. ^ "Powerless (Say What You Want) (International Version): Nelly Furtado". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  39. ^ "Powerless - Nelly Furtado". Amazon.de. Retrieved 5 May 2016.

External links[edit]