Born in New York City but raised in Mexico and Brazil, Bebel Gilberto springs from a musical family — her father the bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto, her mother the singer Miúcha — and she’s taken her neo-bossa nova sound around the world, including the Belly Up, where she recently recorded a new EP (Live at the Belly Up) during one evening. She took some questions over email.
143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
What are your best, worst, and most unusual experiences in SD, offstage?
“I don’t remember having a bad experience in the city, aside from being cold while walking on the beach, which isn’t bad, but it was unforgettable. The best thing [happened] when I met this girl the second and third time I played there. She gave me a shirt and had a very nice crowd with her and we got to hang out.”
How about onstage?
Bebel Gilberto, "Creep"
“The people from San Diego specifically, they sing along and dance along, they deal [in] my repertoire, for me that is very interesting because I’m Brazilian.”
Who were your band members on this live recording?
“We had a guitar player, whose name is Masa Shimizu. It’s just the voice and guitar. We produced the record: me, Masa, and Chris Goldsmith, the sound engineer at the Belly Up.”
Which songs did you pick for the EP, and why?
“Well the song that I wanted to get people’s attention was, exactly, [Radiohead’s] ‘Creep.’ I absolutely love this version, and I love the reaction....”
“I also used ‘Samba e Amor.’ That song is by my uncle [Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist Chico Buarque]. It’s a beautiful version, people love it. We didn’t have many tools to sound better because it wasn’t a multi-track recording, it was just live.”