Listening On The Road With Brazil's Maria Rita

Brazilian singer Maria Rita is the daughter of a musical legend, but also a star in her own right. For Tell Me More's series 'In Your Ear,' she shares the music that she listens to on her travels.

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we're going to talk to another daughter of a musical legend. Brazilian singer Maria Rita has seven Latin Grammys to her name - not a surprise considering she's the daughter of superstar songstress Elis Regina. Maria stopped by recently, and we asked her to tell us what music gives her comfort at home and on the road.

MARIA RITA: Hello, everyone. This is Maria Rita, and this is what's been playing in my ear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SURPRESA")

CAETANO VELOSO: (Singing in Portuguese).

RITA: I listen to Caetano Veloso, who's a Brazilian songwriter-singer who's had a pretty long history and incredible dedication to Brazilian music. And one of my favorite songs is called "Surpresa" - means surprise. And in the song, he's talking about how his love interest has just arrived and all these wonderful, beautiful things that he's imagining with that person. (Laughing) I got a little shy now.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAETANO VELOSO SONG, "SURPRESA")

RITA: I've also been listening to Daft Punk. I completely fell in love with their last album. One of my favorite songs is "Lose Yourself To Dance." It's just catchy.

(SOUNDBITE OF DAFT PUNK SONG, "LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE")

PHARELL WILLIAMS: (Singing) Sweat, sweat, sweat. Lose yourself to dance. Lose yourself to dance. Lose yourself to dance.

RITA: Another Brazilian songwriter that I really enjoy listening to is Gonzaguinha, and one of my favorite songs is "Espere Por Mim, Morena."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ESPERE POR MIM, MORENA")

GONZAGUINHA: (Singing) Espere por mim, morena. Espere que eu chego ja. O amor por voce morena.

RITA: "Espere Por Mim, Morena" is wait for me, morena. Morena is an endearment way of referring to someone. And he's leaving and going on on the road. And so he's asking kindly and lovingly to this woman, wait for me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ESPERE POR MIM, MORENA")

GONZAGUINHA: (Singing) Morena. Faz a saudade me apressar.

RITA: It just reminds me of the moment that my 1-year-old daughter was born, and that I just completely fell in love with her. And I relate to the song because I travel a lot, too, just like he does, and that's what he talks about in the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE SONG, "PUSHER LOVE GIRL")

RITA: Also, I've been listening to Justin Timberlake.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUSHER LOVE GIRL")

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: (Singing) Hey, little mama, ain't got to ask me if I want to.

RITA: Love listening to "Pusher Love Girl." So I admire his talent for quite a long time. He's a great singer, a great performer, great dancer, and I just relate to the dedication and the love for music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUSHER LOVE GIRL")

TIMBERLAKE: (Singing) 'Cause all I want is you, baby, yeah.

HEADLEE: That was Brazilian singer Maria Rita, telling us what's playing in her ear. To hear our previous conversation with her, head over to npr.org/tellmemore.

And that's our program for today. I'm Celeste Headlee, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Tune in for more talk tomorrow.

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