|Drummer boy: Nine-year-old Trọng Nhân, winner of the Vietnam Got Talent 2016 contest. Photo vtc.vn|
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — Does every child dream of becoming a music star?
"Being a star is not my dream. I dream of becoming a drummer,” says nine-year-old Nguyễn Trọng Nhân of Đà Lạt City, winner of Vietnam’s Got Talent 2016 competition,
The most important things in Nhân’s life are his parents, teachers and friends, according to Nhân’s father, Nguyễn Trọng Nghĩa, owner of a coffee shop.
Nhân played drums during the contest’s grand finale in HCM City, aired live on Việt Nam Television’s VTV3 in May.
He performed Ngọn Lửa Cao Nguyên (Flame of Tây Nguyên - Central Highlands) by Trần Tiến and The Final Countdown by the Swedish-based rock band EUROPE, with the support of rocker Đinh Tuấn Khanh.
His performance, uploaded on YouTube, has attracted 2.8 million views, including the US-based rock band Avenged Sevenfold.
“My son began playing drums when he was four. People think he is a little genius, but he never thinks of himself as a special boy,” says his father. "We saw his ability and wanted him to join the contest because it could bring him joy.”
Though he admitted that his son lapped up the adulation received after his TV appearance, Nhân said that his true interest is watching cartoons and reading comics.
A number of TV reality shows aimed at youngsters, such as The Voice Kids and Young Hit Young Beat, have discovered young talent.
Phương Mỹ Chi, for example, was runner-up in Voice Kids 2013. She was a student living in a poor family in District 8, but her life changed dramatically after the contest.
The 13-year-old girl now works as a singer under contract with Quang Lê Entertainment, owned by Vietnamese-American singer Quang Lê.
She performs folk and pop songs and has toured at home and abroad, earning money to support her parents.
Veteran performers are worried that Chi is losing her childhood by working as an adult.
“Chi was born to be a good singer, but she is too young to join the industry. I think it will not be too late for her to be a professional singer after school,” said Vietnamese-Australian singer and composer Thanh Bùi.
In 2010, Phương Trinh, now 21, was still able to retain a child-like innocence despite the praise she received from fans, colleagues and critics.
Trinh began her career on stage when she was 12 years old, playing a gamut of roles in city theatre productions.
When a director needed a pretty child actor, their first choice was Trinh.
"I like to act in movies and commercials," she said.
Her father later became her manager, who believed that she was different from others. He signed contracts with film producers for roles in more than 100 films and TV series.
While her friends were at school studying and playing, Trinh worked hard in studios and had to give up school.
She earned a lot of money, but she lost her happy childhood.
"I’m tired of being a star," Trinh said. “I dreamed of spending time with my parents and friends who mean everything to me. If time comes back, I will never give up my study.”
"Most children and teenagers enjoy acting for fun but not as a career. They should have a simple life,” said Văn Thị Minh Hương, director of the HCM City Music Conservatory, in a recent interview with the Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.
“Parents’ desires exert pressure on their kids. You should be careful before calling your child a talent or child prodigy,” she said. — VNS