Cambodian-American Musician Reveals Her Playlist

Laura Mam has taken the music of her Cambodian-American roots and blended it with West Coast American influences for a fresh take on American pop. Mam shares what music she has in her ear for inspiration.

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(Soundbite of music)

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And finally, the segment we call In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of our guests about the music that's topping their personal playlist.

Singer Laura Mann has taken the music of her Cambodian roots and blended it with West Coast-U.S. influences for a fresh take on American pop. Today we hear about some of the music that's inspired her. What's playing in her ear?

Ms. LAURA MANN (Singer-songwriter): Hi, my name is Laura Mann. I'm a Cambodian-American artist out of San Jose. And today, these days, I'm listening to Incubus, "Echo" from the "Morning View" album.

(Soundbite of song, "Echo")

Mr. BRANDON BOYD (Singer, Incubus): (Singing) There's something about the look in your eyes. Something I noticed when the light was just right. It reminded me twice that I was alive. And it reminded me that you're so worth the fight.

Ms. MANN: It's just one of the greatest songs in terms of musical complexity and it always makes me feel nice and easy and a little bit sexy. It's the best.

(Soundbite of song, "Echo")

Mr. BOYD: (Singing) There's something about the way you move. I see your mouth in slow motion when you sing.

Ms. MANN: Next is probably Lauryn Hill. I've always loved "The Mystery of Iniquity."

(Soundbite of song, "The Mystery of Iniquity")

Ms. LAURYN HILL (Singer-songwriter): (Singing) Children, eat your bread. Little children, eat your bread. Cuz it all, all falls down. Telling you all it all falls down.

(Rapping) Yo, ya'll can't handle the truth in a courtroom of lies. Perjures the jurors witness despised. Crooked lawyers, false indictments publicized. It's entertainment, the arraignments, the subpoenas of high profile gladiators in bloodthirsty arenas. Enter the Dragon, black-robe crooked-balance...

Ms. MANN: It's an incredible combination piece of spoken word and melody and she just knows how to rock a mike while also playing guitar.

(Soundbite of song, "The Mystery of Iniquity")

Ms. HILL: (Rapping) Loving a lie, not realizing in Adam, all die. Loving a lie not realizing in Adam, all die. Loving a lie not realizing in Adam, all die.

(Singing) It's the mystery of iniquity. Say it's the history of iniquity. Say it's...

Ms. MANN: And finally, is a local band out of San Jose called Case In Theory. I've been listening to "Paradise Grove."

(Soundbite of "Paradise Groove")

JONATHAN (Singer, Case In Theory): (Unintelligible)

Ms. MANN: It's a song that can just take you out of any bad place and can put you in heaven, and it'll make you feel wonderful.

(Soundbite of "Paradise Groove")

MARTIN: That's singer Laura Mann telling us what's playing in her ear. If you like to hear our recent interview with her, just checkout our website. That's the TELL ME MORE page at npr.org.

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. Im Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Lets talk more tomorrow.

(Soundbite of music)

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