International festival provides platform to young musicians

May 24, 2023 - 11:48
Monsoon' festival, one of the most anticipated music events in Việt Nam, will be held in Hà Nội from October 14 to 22. The festival founder and director, Quốc Trung, discusses the festival's return after a three-year hiatus.
Monsoon Festival founder and director Quốc Trung. Photo

'Monsoon' festival is one of the most anticipated music events in Việt Nam. After a three-year hiatus, it will return in Hà Nội from October 14 to 22.

The festival founder and director, Quốc Trung, discusses the festival's return.

What is the Monsoon Festival's value and meaning to young bands and audiences in Việt Nam?

We allow young bands to perform live in front of many audiences. In addition, the festival has round tables with different themes useful for young artists. The festival is also an opportunity for them to meet and exchange with international artists helping them to develop their careers.

They will learn how to build a project and look for funding. In addition, they will get more experience in tour organisation to introduce themselves.

This year, we will have small-scale shows in small spaces and streets. This will create different performance models helping the young artists to know what model of the show suits them. In addition, it promotes their professional activities.

We want to make it a habit for the audience to listen to new music as a demand. This will support young and contemporary artists.

That's what makes a diverse music market.

Monsoon has lured audiences aged between 18 to 25. They love to go to Monsoon.

Monsoon organisers have invited international bands performing in the last seasons that are unpopular among Vietnamese audiences. Will you continue to ask the bands like that?

Creativity is diverse. Popularity is not the standard of talent.

Jazz or classical musician influence is minimal; they only perform in a small auditorium. But it does not mean they are not as talented as pop and rock artists who sing in stadiums for thousands of people.

We need to create a habit of enjoying various music for the audience. For example, performances seem weird when I attend an experimental electronic music festival in Britain. It isn't easy to enjoy them even though I'm a musician. However, the audience respects the artists not going out during the performance and still clapping.

The audience should have different choices to stimulate experiments and new trends. These experiments may not be successful today or never will, but they contribute to the diversity of the musical scene.

It is essential to inspire the artists. Vietnamese music has not changed during the past years.

What is the most significant difference between international and Vietnamese young artists?

It is high work intensity. I have worked with foreign artists, and I think they work much harder. Their time spent on music is usually double and triple Vietnamese artists.

I usually work over ten hours per day to gain what I want.

The only advantage of Vietnamese artists is unique. We are little known and don't have many exchanges in the world.

However, they are only successful if they are talented in catching up with world music trends.

In the world, music bands grow very fast. There are young bands at Great Escape Festival – Monsoon partner in England, but they are very mature in music and performing thinking. Some became popular in Europe after a few years of festival performances.

What is the most needed to support young artists?

It is chance. We want to bring an opportunity to young artists helping them to know who they are, where they are and what they have and making them confident.

The most important is that the artists know how to work to reach the standards demanded by developed markets and audiences as well.

Is it a reason for you and Monsoon to join a project launched by French Institute in Hà Nội to seek music talents?

Some Vietnamese bands such as Chillies, Ngọt, Lộn Xộn Band and Da Lab have become popular.

We are pleased to join the institute's project to inspire and make them confident. Hopefully, such programmes will be helpful for the Vietnamese music scene and provide more international exchanges.

Will you be ready to give young Vietnamese bands a stage at Monsoon this year?

To perform professionally on a well-prepared and professional stage is a dream for young artists. Our mission is to promote development to remove that limitation.

We want to inspire them and give them favourable conditions to seek opportunities to introduce their music products.

Performing at Monsoon, they will work with a professional team, have exchanges with others, and the most important thing is to be motivated.

What do the young artists need more, in your opinion?

The key point is still to try on their own. Opportunities do not come alone, but we must create or actively look for them.

Veteran artists can create opportunities for them, such as venues and performance models. But young artists have to find their motivation to develop their music.

Presently, many young artists need to be supported. It is necessary to join hands with the relevant bodies. We should have a strategy to develop music.

It is a long time for the audience to listen to your new song. Are you still writing music?

I'm not interested in writing a song. Currently, I focus on electronic music with the singing of ethnic groups in the northwestern region.

I also introduce my new project with musician Nguyễn Xinh Xô. With British Council's financial support, British visual artists participate in the project.

I wish I have more time to work and introduce music projects at Monsoon and international festivals. - VNS