Rita Wilson Opens Up About Her Most Important Musical Influences
Rita Wilson is a woman of many, many talents. She raps "Hip Hop Hooray" like nobody’s business, she advocates for causes she cares about, and she sings poignant, evocative songs that derive from meaningful moments.
Wilson released a new single, "Where’s My Country Song?" which highlights "unseen women" and pays tribute to those who are overlooked and underappreciated. She'll also be a guest judge on the season finale of "The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart," and stopped by "Bachelor Happy Hour" to talk about her music and her experience on the show.
Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin asked Wilson about who and what inspires her songwriting. She responded, "Stories inspire me, and people inspire me." She explained that John Legend’s music video for "Conversations in the Dark" acted as a framework for the video of "Where’s My Country Song?" Wilson, however, wanted to "highlight women in America through the centuries and what they’ve really done to keep our country going, to keep our families going."
"I’m a first-generation American," she explained. "Both my mom and dad had accents. Sometimes I saw that my mom or dad could be invisible — particularly my mom, because she didn’t have a job. She was American, but she wasn’t a typical American because she wasn’t raised here. I remember being able to observe the differences in what people do. My mom would be treated with not a lot of respect because of her accent, but she was my hero."
Wilson said all types of women helped influence the song. She shared, "It was really inspired by the women that in some ways are like my mom that worked at home and cooked for us and sewed for us and took really good care of us. It’s also for those women who might be single parents and single mothers who are trying to get by in the world. It’s also for the women who are behind the scenes."
She told Becca and Rachel, "I look for stories that are surrounding me and right in front of me. Sometimes those stories are coming in myself."
The idea of "storytelling” came up throughout her interview with the "Bachelor Happy Hour" co-hosts. It’s what pushed her to become a songwriter. It’s why she loves hip-hop, along with most other genres.
"This is why I love country music so much — because there’s so much great storytelling in there," she said. "I feel like I’m my truest self when I’m writing or singing."
In terms of master artists Wilson admires and tries to emulate, she said, "I love Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Brandi Carlile, and Dolly Parton. These are the women that are doing the great storytelling right now and always have been. I tend to go for the story."
To hear more about Rita Wilson’s time on "Listen to Your Heart" as well as her music, be sure to listen to the full "Bachelor Happy Hour" episode now! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.