“Say It Right” by Nelly Furtado

As alluded to in the facts section, this song is actually the result of an impromptu jam session which came about in the studio during the wee hours in the morning. During that time of day, the human mind isn’t exactly at its sharpest point. And accordingly Nelly Furtado has gone on to admit herself that in terms of the lyrics to this track, she “can’t put into words what it’s about”.

However, she also stated that it possibly centers on the idea of approaching life “without inhibitions”. And with that in mind, yes, certain parts of the song, the first verse for instance, do come off as a general-inspirational piece.

However, there is definitely a romantic tone permeating throughout. The third verse in particular can be interpreted as being addressed to the singer’s lover while the second verse, thematically, is a combination of the first and third. Indeed Furtado did once put forth that the subject matter of this song points to her breakup with one DJ Jasper Gahunia. DJ Jasper was the dude she dated back in the early 2000s who also gave her a daughter. And looking at it from that perspective, it can verily be ascertained that the singer has some type of beef with the addressee, considering she is telling this person that he “don’t mean nothing at all to (her)”.

Meaning of “Say It Right”

Meanwhile the phrase “say it right” is actually only found at one point in the lyrics, near the beginning of the first verse. The way Furtado seems to be using the phrase is to put forth that a person (perhaps the addressee in particular) should be sure of what they’re saying before they even speak.


So conclusively, we can agree with Nelly’s aforementioned explanation of this song in that, in the very least, it is not about a uniform topic.  Nor does the title itself apparently play a major role in the track.  Rather, Say It Right seems to be part general-inspirational piece and part love song, albeit centered on a troubled relationship.

Music Video

The music video to this track was handled by a pair of directors known as Rankin & Chris. Said visual was taped in Los Angeles. It proved to be highly-successful on MTV especially, and accordingly it was partially responsible for the singer being nominated for an MTV VMA in 2007.

Facts about “Say It Right”

This track served as one of the singles from Nelly’s hit third album titled “Loose”, with the song itself being released on 30th October, 2006.

This is another creative effort between Furtado and super-producer Timberland. They both served as co-writers of “Say It Right” alongside Timbaland’s protégé, Danja.  Moreover Danja and Timbaland also produced the song.

Concerning the creation of this track, Furtado stated that she was inspired by “Here Comes the Rain Again” (1983) by The Eurythmics. Moreover, as the legend behind this song goes, she actually initiated the process which resulted in its creation at 4:00 in the morning, even as Timbaland was telling her to go home and get some rest.

“Say It Right” proved to be a major hit for Furtado. For instance, it greatly contributed to the overall success of “Loose”.

Not only did “Say It Right” earn Furtado a Grammy Award nomination in 2008, but it also reached number 1 in over 10 countries. One of the places it accomplished this feat was on the Billboard Hot 100 itself. Additionally it achieved triple-Platinum status in Spain and went Platinum in a bunch of other countries.

“Say It Right” also reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.

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