In Your Ear: Singer Meklit Hadero

In the latest installment of our "In Your Ear" series — where we ask guests about the music that's at the top of their personal play lists — we speak with Meklit Hadero. She's an Ethiopian singer and songwriter who talked to us recently about her debut album, "On A Day Like This." Meklit shares some of the songs that inspired her album.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

Today, we hear from Ethiopian singer and songwriter Meklit Hadero. She talked to us recently about her debut album, "On a Day Like This" and Meklit shares some of the songs that inspired her.

Ms. MEKLIT HADERO (Singer and Songwriter): Hi, my name is Meklit Hadero, and I'm a singer-songwriter from San Francisco and Ethiopia. And these days, I'm listening to Virginia Rodrigues' version of "Negra Noche."

(Soundbite of song, "Negra Noche")

Ms. VIRGINIA RODRIGUES (Singer): (Singing in Portuguese)

Ms. HADERO: Virginia Rodrigues has this soaring, soaring, soaring voice that takes you to this really heavenly place.

(Soundbite of song, "Negra Noche")

Ms. RODRIGUES (Singer): (Singing in Portuguese)

(Soundbite of song, "Temecula Sunrise")

DIRTY PROJECTORS (Rock Band): (Singing) Temperature rising like a...

Ms. HADERO: I'm listening to "Temecula Sunrise" by the Dirty Projectors from the album "Bitte Orca."

(Soundbite of song, "Temecula Sunrise")

DIRTY PROJECTORS: (Singing) And what hits the spot, yeah, like Gatorade? You and me, baby, hitting the spot all night.

Ms. HADERO: Which has incredible, abstract vocals and harmonies, and also just a really interesting rhythms.

(Soundbite of song, "Temecula Sunrise")

DIRTY PROJECTORS: (Singing) ...high Temecula sunrise. High Temecula sunrise.

Ms. HADERO: And I'm also listening to Caetano Veloso's version of "Cucurrucucu."

(Soundbite of song, "Cucurrucucu")

Mr. CAETANO VELOSO (Composer/Singer): (Singing in Spanish)

Ms. HADERO: It's just the most incredibly beautiful, atmospheric, simple music. And it's actually a traditional Mexican song, but what he does with it is just gorgeous.

(Soundbite of song, "Cucurrucucu")

Mr. VELOSO: (Singing in Spanish)

Ms. HADERO: As a singer, he taught me so much about simplicity.

(Soundbite of song, "Cucurrucucu")

Mr. VELOSO: (Singing in Spanish)

MARTIN: That was singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero, telling us what's playing in her ear.

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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