Anna Truong is the German-Vietnamese daughter of musician Nguyen Anh Quan and the stepdaughter of his pop singer wife Do My Linh. She talks with Thanh Ha about her life and career.
Having inherited the musical talents of her parents, Anna Truong can compose, play the guitar and speak German fluently. Having just turned 18, Anna marked her birthday by releasing her debut album, Anna Truong – the first songs.
Inner Sanctum: Possessing a pure and high voice, you have showed your maturity by joining in many autistic activities. What is the image that you want to represent?
Well, my main purpose is to become a multipurpose artist, since I love music with all my heart and wish to learn more about it through composing and different kinds of musical instruments. I hope I can go deeper into musical studies rather than just singing. My piano studies were interrupted when I was in high school, and that was a big disappointment for me, so now I want to focus 100 per cent on my music career, but this time with the guitar.
Inner Sanctum: Did you decided to become a singer because you were raised in a musical family, or is music your own passion?
My family did have a certain influence on me, but if I did not have a real passion for music, I would not have had the courage to pursuit it. I would have chosen a different path.
Inner Sanctum: Your dad is a popular musician and producer whose name is loved in the North of Viet Nam. Do you like his music?
When I was a kid, I found that it was difficult to listen to and understand my dad's music. I even asked him to turn the volume down when he was in his studio, but as I grew older, I came to love it, naturally.
Inner Sanctum: Do you have any pressure when you work with your dad?
In the studio, there is no father-daughter relationship. All you have is work. There are times we have to record a song over and over. I remember once my father and I were glowering at each other through the glass door. I even ran out from the studio and cried with my stepmum, saying: "I don't want to sing anymore!". But then my mum explained to me that every young musician has to go through these hardships at the start of their careers. Otherwise, if you are blinded by compliments early, you can fail to recognise your weaknesses.
I was nervous when I started to record my debut album. Then, I thought about my stepmum's words. "A successful live performance depends heavily on your ability. You can do well on one day, but not on the next. On the contrary, an album can be listened to even after you are dead". So I took the initiative by asking my dad to re-record parts of the songs I was unhappy with.
Inner sanctum: You are rumoured to be a shy teenager which is kind of strange given your industry reputation as a forcible girl in your dynamic artistic environment?
Well, I guess perhaps it is my true nature. Everyone is born with their own personality. I am not an exception. When I was small, I felt sort of embarrassed in front of people. Now I feel lucky to have support from many people and I've had the chance to take part in more artistic activities that have helped to build my confidence.
Inner Sanctum: Have you ever thought of what you would be doing today if your dad had married someone other than your stepmum?
You can ask "if" about practically anything. I've thought of it before, and I realise some people who experience a family break up are not as lucky as I am. I'm extremely lucky to have my stepmum. I do not want to waste time thinking about it. I just want to be who I really want to be.
Inner Sanctum: Audiences can sense the great love that your stepmother has for you, and it's clear she tries to protect. What do you think about it?
There are times I have to tell her that I have already grown up. But actually it happens rarely, since my parents have faith in me and let me live with my true self.
Inner Sanctum: Which qualities have you learnt from your stepmother?
To be honest, there are lots of things I am trying to learn from her. First, she always puts herself in other people's shoes to try and understand them more. I think there is always a reason for someone's behaviour, so we should not judge him or her immediately. People should have sympathy for each other and avoid hatred. Second, she is always positive. It seems like she can manage to ease the tenseness and connect with people around her. If there is anyone I want to become when I get married, it is definitely her.
Inner Sanctum: You have the classic beauty of a European but the charming manner of a Vietnamese. Have you considered attending a beauty contest like Miss Viet Nam?
Thanks for the compliment but I'd rather be a good singer and composer. That is the true me. — VNS