Luisa Maita: The New Voice Of Brazil Maita's voice has been heard everywhere in Brazil, from advertising jingles to pop songs to the promotional film that helped win her country the 2016 Olympics. Now the world gets a chance to hear what all the fuss is about in her debut album, Lero-Lero.
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Luisa Maita: The New Voice Of Brazil

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Luisa Maita: The New Voice Of Brazil

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Music Reviews

Luisa Maita: The New Voice Of Brazil

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

In Brazil, Luisa Maita's voice is everywhere, from advertising jingles to pop songs to the promotional film that helped the country win the 2016 Olympics. Now the rest of the world gets a chance to hear her. Luisa Maita's debut CD is called "Lero Lero," and Banning Eyre has this review.

BANNING EYRE: Luisa Maita and her two sisters were all named after songs by bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Thats how big music was in her family. Maita came of age in a diverse, working class immigrant neighborhood of Sao Paolo, and her sound is filled with all sorts of flavors. What makes it great, though, and quintessentially Brazilian, is her irresistibly sensuous, liquid velvet voice.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. LOUISA MAITA (Singer): (Singing in foreign language).

EYRE: This song talks about the anxiety of young love. Its set to a slowed down rhythm taken from capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art that's as much about music and dance as self defense.

Luisa Maita composed most of the songs on "Lero Lero," but she arranged them working with two producers, one to give the songs depth and Brazilian roots, and one to, as she put it, look into the future.

(Soundbite of song, "Fulaninha")

Ms. MAITA: (Singing in foreign language).

EYRE: Fulaninha is a subtle swirl of samba and dancehall rhythms with lacings of electronica and raspy rural fiddling. Maitas vocal hook seals the deal. It feels familiar, even classic, right from the first listen.

In this song, a young woman loses herself in the sensuality of a baile funk, a thundering street dance in a crowded Rio de Janeiro slum.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. MAITA: (Singing in foreign language).

EYRE: Brazilian culture is all about artful blendings, continuums rather than dualities. Luisa Maita can set a love song to a martial arts rhythm, evoke harsh realities of ghetto life with gentleness and dry-eyed humanity and, most of all, use her fluid, versatile voice and rich musical heritage to make it all feel like one coherent whole.

"Lero Lero" is a discovery, but if Luisa Maita keeps making records this good, she could well be on her way to international stardom.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. MAITA: (Singing in foreign language).

NORRIS: Banning Eyre is senior editor at afropop.org. He reviewed "Lero Lero" by Luisa Maita.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. MAITA: (Singing in foreign language).

NORRIS: This is NPR.

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