Artists not content to rest on their laurels
Young Vietnamese singers are getting bolder, learning new skills and setting new entertainment trends. Thu Anh reports.
|Heart in the right place: Like some of her peers, Thuy Tien has moved from performing songs to composing her own tunes to advance her career. — VNS Photo Thu Anh|
If there has been a defining feature of the musical industry this year, it has been the emergence of assertive young artistes not afraid to strike out on their own, not to mention expand their creative capabilities.
This is reflected in the performances of dedicated talents like Nguyen Van Chung, Nguyen Hong Thuan and Thuy Tien who have succeeded in winning fans as well as in business, setting new entertainment trends.
The young artistes and entrepreneurs have not hidden their ambition, deciding to produce and market CDs nationwide in different styles.
After ten years in the field, musician and producer Chung knows that experience and composing skills can serve him well in a fiercely competitive entertainment industry.
He composed and produced a series of albums in pop and dance music, featuring young stars like Khanh Ngoc and Cao Thai Son.
Chung had begun his new projects while he was in his early 20s, working with leading showbiz organisers to produce music on stage and in the studio.
He stressed the need to become more professional saying, "Music is not only sweet melodies and beautiful dances, but also referred to as a non-smoke industry – which helps create jobs and make money."
His first song, Vang Trang Khoc (The Moon Cries), became an instant hit when it was released in 2001.
The song propelled its singers, Khanh Ngoc and Nhat Tinh Anh, from relative unknowns to the year's most favourite singers.
In his latest album, Con Duong Mua (Raining Road), a production done along with his partner, young singer Cao Thai Son, Chung has written simple lyrics set to pop ballad tunes.
The album's highlights include Tinh Yeu Tro Lai (Returning to Love), Vang! Em Yeu Anh (Yes! I Love You) and Pha Le Tim (Purple Crystal) – songs that encourage youngsters to be good in life and in love.
The 26-year-old artist said he hopes that the youth "can learn something after listening to my songs."
Then he revealed that he is a shrewd businessman as well.
"I chose pop because it is popular among teenagers. The music can help me attract fans quickly and also make it easier to earn money."
While Chung's forte is pop, Thuan's music lends itself to dancing, indeed it is made with dancing in mind. The 29-year-old musician has capped off a fine year for himself by producing a series of hits like Kem Dau Tinh Yeu (Strawberry Ice Cream Love), Bay Sac Cau Vong (Rainbow's Seven Colours) and Tinh Yeu Dieu Ky (Wonderful Love).
His songs have been performed by popular pop stars like Dam Vinh Hung and My Tam who have captured the hearts of fans in both rural and urban areas.
Many young listeners appreciate Thuan's ability to mix different musical styles and produce something that stands apart from that of his peers.
"Thuan's music combines traditional and modern styles, using Vietnamese folk elements. His style gives audiences a more Vietnamese taste," said veteran musician Nguyen Ngoc Thien, member of the HCM City Musicians' Association.
Thien added that young artists like Thuan have been a key factor in the industry's development.
The developments of 2010 have proved Thien right, as the younger generation went from strength to strength, offering something new and diverse.
The male artistes this year have been upstaged by their "better halves" who have dared to apply their creativity to new activities.
A successful musician in her mid-twenties, singer Thuy Tien has begun writing her own songs. After separating from her producer, skilled composer Quoc Bao, Tien now performs her own songs that have become increasingly popular with fans.
Her latest album, Ngoi Nha Hanh Phuc (Happy House), features eight songs ranging from pop and dance to gothic rock.
"I'm still improving my vocal techniques and dance skills while writing my own songs," Tien said in an interview with a local music magazine after releasing the album in July.
"Composing is the most complete way for a young singer like me to train myself and attain a high degree of professionalism," said the 25-year-old.
Meanwhile, Mai Khoi has moved in the opposite direction, from singing to composing her own tunes.
Building on her fame as a singer, Khoi is now making a name for herself as a songwriter with the recent release of her albums Hoa Dai (Wild Flowers) and Made in Mai Khoi.
Featuring down-to-earth pop ballad and hip-hop styles, Khoi's albums have been a hit with young students and workers.
"I decided to move to composing because I wanted to find new opportunities for my career," said Khoi. VNS