R&B Star Miguel Gives Props To Kendrick Lamar

R&B sensation Miguel is out with a new single "Simplethings." For Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series, he shares the music that drives him.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally, today, we turn to a regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we invite some of our guests to tell us about the songs that give them inspiration. Today, we are hearing from R&B sensation Miguel. He's got a new single out now. It's called "Simplethings." Miguel was with us a while back to talk about his album "Kaleidoscope Dream," which featured the Grammy-winning single "Adorn". He also told us about the tracks he's been listening to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAAD CITY")

MIGUEL JONTEL PIMENTEL: Greetings, my name is Miguel. And this is what's in my ear. Right about now, one of my favorite songs to listen to while I'm driving is "mAAd City" by Kendrick Lamar. He's also a Los Angeles native, a good friend of mine. I think I love the driving force of this song, the storytelling perspective. It's interesting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAAD CITY")

PIMENTEL: Another song playing in my ear - it's a song by Glasser. The song is called "Apply." It's got something - something tribal about the song, but still electronic.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "APPLY")

PIMENTEL: The lead singer's voice is just soaring over it. And there's something really primal about it that I love to listen to while I'm working out.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "APPLY")

PIMENTEL: The last song playing in my ear is called "Speak in Rounds" by Grizzly Bear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPEAK IN ROUNDS")

PIMENTEL: I don't know, this entire album is really ethereal to me for some reason. And this is the first song I heard from it. A friend recommended it and - I don't know, I'll let you listen to it and let you figure out what you love about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPEAK IN ROUNDS")

MARTIN: That was R&B singer Miguel, telling us what's playing in his ear. To hear our previous conversation with him, head over to NPR.org, click on the programs tab and go to TELL ME MORE.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPEAK IN ROUNDS")

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE the conversation never ends. Tell us your thoughts. You can email TELLMEMORE@NPR.org or check us out on Facebook or tweet us, we're @TellMeMoreNPR. And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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