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Vietnamese composers beginning to eschew love songs, take on social issues

Update: December, 23/2015 - 08:23

Top songwriter: Singer and composer Pham Toan Thang. — VNS Photo

by Thu Anh

HCMCITY (VNS) — More Vietnamese composers are writing songs about social problems instead of the traditional topic of love.

Singer and songwriter Tran Van Toan's third and latest album, Funk Rock, for example, became an instant hit when it was released in April.

The 45-year-old Toan, who has written songs that deal with youth and their problems, has also encouraged them to protect the earth and environment.

In songs such as Hai Con De Qua Cau (Two Goats over a Bridge) and Cau Hoi (The Question), he has combined electronic and funk rock.

His favourite song, Hai Nguoi Linh (Two Soldiers), won Favourite Song and Best Song voted by audiences and the jury at Bai Hat Viet 2007 (Vietnamese Songs 2007), an annual music show highlights new songs by Vietnamese writers on Viet Nam Television.

Many teenagers and youth enjoy Hai Nguoi Linh, a pop song created for the girl band Mat Troi Do, a group of four members who play and sing pop songs based on Vietnamese folk music.

The song is about young soldiers who have devoted their life to the country.

Hai Nguoi Linh was a big hit after only a week of its release. It is still one of the listeners' favourite songs on music online forums.

Younger than Toan, singer-songwriter Tien Tien loves creating songs concerned with philosophy and life.

The 26-year-old Tien said she hoped that her fans could "learn how life goes and why love saves our world".

Many listeners, both old and young, appreciate Tien's creative ability to blend her thoughts in music.

"Tien's pop style is different from her colleagues' style, leaving young audiences many questions about their goals," said Nguyen Trang Anh, a high school fan in Dong Nai Province.

Tien said in a recent interview with the Dep (Beauty) magazine: "I love writing songs. I think singers and composers can use their music to help others."

Tien is a successful singer who began writing and singing her own songs when she began her career in 2013.

Her songs such as Vi Toi Con Song (Because I Live) and My Everything have become increasingly popular with fans.

She has taken part in dozens of charity programmes aiming to bring music to children in hospitals and open houses.

Pham Toan Thang is another example. His songs feature topics related to social issues, ranging from pop and rock to contemporary folk music. He includes dong dao (children's folk songs) in his songs.

Within a short time, the 27-year-old musician has had several hits, including Bon Chu Lam (Only Four Words), Ve (Paint) and Dau Mua (Rain).

His Bon Chu Lam won the Journalists Council Award at Bai Hat Viet Awards 2014.

The song, performed by new singers Truc Nhan and Thao Nhi, is about the loss of a young couple when they are apart.

Its music video was recognised as the most watched video in Viet Nam by YouTube last year.

"I like composing songs on social topics because it can enhance my training and improve my skills," Thang said. — VNS

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