Pop singer Ho Quynh Huong was born in 1980 in the northern province of Quang Ninh. She graduated from the Military College of Culture and Arts in 2002 and has since become one of the country's top sopranos. Tinh Lang (Tranquillity) is her comeback studio album following a long break from the entertainment world. Gia Binh talks to her about balancing stardom with music.
Inner Sanctum: So where should we start our conversation?
Definitely the album Tranquillity!
Inner Sanctum: Does the album title come from your experience?
It does. It perfectly describes my experience during the past two years, when I left the showbiz world to live a life of meditation. I felt like an outsider, watching the world around me. I also spent time taking care of my family, as other women do.
Inner Sanctum: Your recent comeback showed how enthusiastic you were about the album. What comes next? Or will you disappear again?
As I promised my audience, the album Tranquillity became reality. When I started out performing, I received so much compassion from audiences and music lovers. This motivated me to be stronger and more determined in pursuing my art.
At the moment, I am on a cloud. I feel so lucky to be cared for by my audience. For me, music is an emotion, the drifting away of the soul, so I do not want to put myself into any certain frame. The feeling of the audience determines my emotion.
Inner Sanctum: You were recently named "Asia's sexiest female vegetarian". How do you feel about that?
I am not the kind of person who works to earn some title. I just want to do what I can to make life better. Therefore, any title that people bestow upon me, no matter if it's big or small, I take pride in it. I feel extremely surprised and happy about this particular award.
Inner Sanctum: Achieving tranquillity is different from sitting back satisfied with what you have done. Do you think of yourself as satisfied?
I chose to pursue tranquillity to live life to the fullest, to feel more peaceful and to fulfill my responsibility to this life. However, this is only in my meditation world. Previously, I felt like life was passing me by and tried to catch up with it without realising what I should really be doing and what life meant to me.
For me, achieving tranquillity does not mean you have to be resigned to your fate.
I am still living and working wholeheartedly, but do not wish to be a part of the showbiz world's buzz anymore.
Inner Sanctum: People say that when you feel satisfied, there is no competition anymore. When there is no competition, there is no motivation. And when you stop competing, others surpass you. Are you afraid of that happening?
In my whole life, I've never been able to make music like I can now. I only sing when audiences ask me to and the show is worthy of me. Not because of fame or money. Each performer has his or her own audience. I don't want to steal others' audiences. All I want to do is help develop Vietnamese music. The country's music industry cannot expand if there are individual rivalries.
Inner Sanctum: When a woman feels satisfied with herself, is it the right time for her to think of a family? Do you plan to create a small family for yourself, or do you believe fate will decide everything for you?
I can't decide whom I will meet in the future, so I'll leave everything in God's hands. Let it be!
Inner Sanctum: Are you confident being a family woman?
Certainly I will be a family woman, just as my mother and older sister were.
Inner Sanctum: Beautiful women have a lot of ambition. Do you agree?
Human beings are naturally ambitious. However, my only ambition now is to lead a peaceful and healthy life, with my family by my side.
Inner Sanctum: Have you ever thought of quitting singing when you are no longer young and beautiful?
Well, there is a line in composer Quoc Bao's song "Quynh" which I love, "Why were you born like a predictable fate?" Although the song was not written for me, I feel it speaks to my soul. I accept the fact that no woman can remain young and beautiful forever. When I no longer sing, I'll treasure the memory of performing on stage. — VNS