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“It’s 9 in the morning and I’ve never been so excited!”
And with that, the tone was set for Brazilian-born singer-songwriter Laura Rizzotto’s performance in the WERS studio. Rizzotto stopped by WERS Friday morning to perform a few songs off of her recent debut album, Made in Rio, as part of the station’s ongoing Live Music Week. Adorned with her acoustic guitar and contagious smile, it was clear to everyone in the studio that Rizzotto was indeed excited.
All things considered, Rizzotto does have a great deal to be excited about. When she was 11, she and her family successfully made the drastic move from Rio de Janeiro to the US. By age 18, she has already released her first album, supported the album with a tour around her native country, and opened for Demi Lovato when she performed in Brazil this past April. On top of this, Rizzotto is currently studying at the famous Berklee College of Music here in Boston. With all of this going on in her life, it’s no wonder that she identifies herself as a “workaholic.”
Rizzotto displayed the talent and professionalism of a true workaholic during her in-studio performance. She began her set with a catchy tune off of Made in Rio called “Don’t Think About It”. The song, with an infectious chorus of “Sha-la-la-la-la-la,” is a bonafide pop gem that Taylor Swift and Colbie Calliat would approve of. She has a natural gift when it comes to catchy pop melodies – a reflection of the eclectic mix of various pop acts she listens to ranging from Maroon 5 to Shania Twain.
However, American musicians are not the only influence on Rizzotto’s music. She cites many different Brazilian artists as impacting her work as well. This Brazilian influence was more than apparent in her second song, “Better Place,” in which she showcased her lingual ability by singing the first half in English and the second half in Portuguese. Although this might seem difficult, Rizzotto made the transition beautifully. While some other bilingual artists might come across as gimmicky for singing in two languages, Rizzotto pulled it off, and it was clear that she could communicate her music and emotions authentically through either language.
Like many singer-songwriters, Rizzotto draws her inspiration from life experience in hopes of relating to and connecting with her audience. In between songs, she explained the personal story behind her third and final song of the morning.
“Growing up, I always felt out of place as a musical person,” she said. “Everyone else wanted to become doctors and lawyers, but I wanted to be a musician.”
The product of this exclusion is “Fish Out of Water”, a catchy celebration of individuality in which Rizzotto takes pride in being herself – she likes the person that she is, and that’s good enough for her. “Well, I’m a fish out of water and I don’t understand, how people see who I’m supposed to be, instead of who I am,” she sang with a wide smile, strumming along on her guitar.
Contrary to the lyrics, everyone who heard or saw Laura Rizzotto perform in the WERS studio Friday morning knew immediately who she really was: a talented, determined girl who is proud of both her individuality and her native culture – her youth makes her past accomplishments impressive and poses her ready to make her greatest accomplishments in the future.
With a formula for success like that, it’s no surprise that Laura Rizzotto is excited.