|Rising stars: Just two years after their inception, boy band FB Boiz has been nominated for the Mai Vang Award for the year 2014's best pop band. — Photo baomoi.com
by Thu Anh
After a year of taking the country's music by storm, four pop bands in Ha Noi and HCM City are becoming new music icons for many young people.
The boy bands OPlus, FB Boiz, 365 and The Men have competed for the 2014 Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Awards, which are presented annually by the HCM City-based Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper.
The Ha Noi-based band OPlus consisting of Tung Linh, Tung Lam, Duc Tung and Quang Minh, who is the band's songwriter.
The band began its career in 2010 and has quickly attracted the attention of music producers and impresarios. Its rock style is making waves in the southern province as well.
On its second album, Cho Nguoi Noi Ay (I'm Waiting There for You ), produced by talented musician Huy Tuan, they mixed a catchy pop style and light lyrics with guitar-based rock songs.
The album was a hit with young people after it was released early this year.
"We are trying to create music by ourselves," said 26-year-old Minh.
Minh wrote more than 30 songs and some of them were top hits under the voice of young pop stars like Noo Phuoc Thinh and Duy Khoa.
Its competitor, FB Boiz of HCM City, released their first album in 2011, leaving a very strong impression on fans.
All of the band's five members were solo artists before working together.
They compose, play and sing pop, hip hop and R&B in both English and Vietnamese.
Their popular songs include Party All Night, De Em Ra Di (Let Me Go), Em Co Biet (Do You Know?) and Chi 5 Giay Thoi (Only Five Seconds).
"We are working to bring a Vietnamese identity in our music," said rapper and DJ Phuc Bo, leader of FB Boiz.
Like pop acts the world over, pop bands 365 and The Men have their critics.
But this has not deterred the bands, who have gained national recognition and many young fans.
"We know our style is similar to Korean pop bands, but that's not strange or bad," said Isaac, leader of the four-member 365, which includes four members.
"We were fans, but now we have fans. It's a great thing for us," he said.
After six years of being involved in the industry, The Men are no longer boys and have worked hard to divide their time equally between school and performance.
Its members, Tien Dung and Le Hoang, often work 10 hours a day to improve their vocal music and dance skills under professional artists from the HCM City Music Conservatory.
Their latest MV, Khoang Trong Con Lai (An Empty Space) composed by Quoc Cuong, has attracted several thousand fans on an online-music website.
As in previous years, top singers such as My Tam, Ho Ngoc Ha, and Dam Vinh Hung have dominated the concert circuit and the VCD market.
But more and more, boy bands are receiving enthusiastic responses from young audiences. It may only be a matter of time before pop emerges on top. — VNS