Viet Nam News
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — Many songs used as soundtracks in popular films have become hits on YouTube and social media sites, boosting the earnings of composers and singers.
Bống Bống Bang Bang, a pop song composed by young musician Only C of Hà Nội, has attracted nearly 132 million views on YouTube. The song was performed by the boy band 365.
Only C wrote the song for the blockbuster Tấm Cám- Chuyện Chưa Kể (Tấm Cám- The Untold Story), directed by Ngô Thanh Vân, one of the country’s few female film directors and producers.
The film earned more than VNĐ21 billion (US$910,000) in ticket sales in just three days last year.
Another soundtrack, Còn Tuổi Nào Cho Em, a love song composed by the late song writer Trịnh Công Sơn, has become a new hit.
The song was used in Em Là Bà Nội Của Anh (Sweet 20), a Vietnamese remake of Korean film Miss Granny, which was released early last year.
Young actress Miu Lê, who performs the soundtrack, played a role in helping the film earn more than VNĐ100 billion ($4.5 million) in ticket sales.
After the film’s release, Lê decided to develop her career in both film and singing.
“Composing soundtracks is not new but it has developed and attracted young musicians over the last three years,” said composer and songwriter Nguyễn Hồng Thuận.
He said YouTube and online music forums have helped soundtracks reach young people in large numbers.
Back in 2005, composer Đức Trí, after completing studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, began his career at home with a record in the local music market.
At that time, Trí’s music in Nữ Tướng Cướp (Gangster Lady), a movie made by Thiên Ngân (Galaxy) Studio, was voted by fans as the year’s hottest soundtrack.
Trí earned VNĐ100 million (US$6,200) for his creation at that time, the highest payment for writing a soundtrack.
His success opened a new door for Vietnamese filmmakers and musicians, who had till then largely ignored the potential of writing songs for films.
“The driving force behind film producers’ interest in using works composed by young musicians is the demand from audiences, mostly teenagers, for songs written and performed by young faces,” said Thuận.
“Some soundtracks became top hits quickly after they were released online by the producers, who wanted to attract audiences while their films were not in cinemas,” he added.
Film companies and studios of television stations often announce the name of singers and composers before releasing soundtracks to make the fans curious.
Famous musicians like Thuận, Dương Khắc Linh, Châu Đăng Khoa and Khắc Hưng are getting VNĐ30 million to ($1,300) VNĐ50 million ($2,200) for each new song, and VNĐ10 milllion ($438) for songs previously released.
"I love to compose soundtracks considering the high royalties that film companies pay me," said composer Linh, adding that creating instrumental music is the fastest way for young artists to train and achieve a high degree of professionalism.
Linh’s song, Yêu và Yêu (Love and Love), performed by the boy band Monstar, was used in the horror film Bệnh Viện Ma (Ghost Hospital), and became a hit after the film’s release.
It is one of the band’s most popular songs on several media sites.
"Making soundtracks professionally is very important for the development of Việt Nam’s music and film industries," said Linh. —VNS