Viet Nam News
by Thu Anh
HCM CITY — Although they have earned wide recognition, amateur bands in HCM City are still working to improve their skills and achieve their dreams through revolutionary music.
Bands like Áo Lính (Military Uniform) and Tre Việt ( Vietnamese Bamboo) are trying to attract young fans by creating new performance styles.
"Our goal is to expand revolutionary music to younger generations because the art come along with a great period of the country’s history and it should be preserved," said Hoàng Vĩnh, leader of the Áo Lính band.
The Áo Lính’s five male members are different backgrounds but share the love for the art form when they decided to sing together in 2001.
They have turned down opportunities in various fields to be involved in singing revolutionary songs.
They have travelled around the country, including remote areas like Trường Sa (Spratly) to perform for people and children.
They have also performed in Laos and Cambodia.
“Our music features a modern style in both singing and performances,” said Vĩnh, adding that his band had fought to win young fans’ hearts.
"Many youngsters think our music is old-fashioned. So, we wanted to offer modern styles of dance, singing and music playing,” he added.
Vĩnh and his peers love singing famous songs written by talented composers such as Hoàng Việt, Phan Huỳnh Điểu and Xuân Hồng. Their voice and performance left a very strong impression on audiences.
Younger than Áo Lính, Tre Việt (Vietnamese Bamboo) founded in 2011 and has four members.
"My art is history. Singing and listening revolutionary songs are improving your knowledge in national history and culture," said Anh Tuấn, a member of Tre Việt.
"Although we have become popular, we have always tried to find a way to improve our ability," he said.
With an attractive appearance and a strong voice, Tuấn could have risen quickly to become a pop singer and earn a high income.
Instead, he decided to get involved in revolutionary music because "the art runs in my blood", said Tuấn, the youngest member of the Tre Việt.
Tuấn said that he liked singing revolutionary music because "the music is romantic but also powerful”.
“Unlike singing pop, singers should be qualified in voice and vocal music to perform revolutionary songs,” he added.
Tre Việt has performed in many music shows produced by leading televisions and radios like the HCM City Television and Voice of HCM City.
They will organise their first live show and album, both called Việt Nam Ngày Mới (A New Day in Việt Nam), this year.
"After listening to Tuấn and his band, young artists have learned that it’s wrong to think you can be the best singer with only an attractive appearance and dancing skills," said Lê Anh Tuấn, head of the Bông Sen Traditional Dance and Music Theatre’s performing office.
According to Tuấn, Bông Sen has co-operated with amateur bands like Áo Lính and Tre in dozens of music festivals, cultural exchanges and charity events.
“To earn a living, most of these artists have to work for music schools and studios after staging. But they are still working to develop revolutionary music, which has appeared through the country’s heroic history in French and American wars. I think they’re professional artists who perform with all their mind and heart,” he said. — VNS