|Singer Tùng Dương|
Singer Tùng Dương, who has been dubbed ‘divo’, will hold his latest live show entitled Trời và Đất (Heaven and Earth) this weekend. An avant-garde artist in Việt Nam whose music isn’t for everyone, Dương talks with Thúy Hằng about his show as well as his experiences of fatherhood.
Inner Sanctum: Can you explain why you named your concert ‘Heaven and Earth’?
When my wife was pregnant with our son Voi (his nickname), I was reading a novel called Hành Trình Về Phương Đông (Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East). The book is about a fantastic research expedition by a group of Western scientists to India. After their journey, they have a much better awareness of Buddhist philosophy, including the distinctions between heaven and earth, life and death, where the soul goes after death… Our life includes those spiritual and mysterious matters. That’s why I decided my upcoming concert should incorporate the theme of "Heaven and Earth", showing the harmony between yin and yang, which are opposites, but always need to be together.
All the songs I sing are about living beings and humans, and I want, through my music, for my audience to get a different perspective on life. Whenever I hold a live show, I always plan the concept carefully, because a clear concept can help audiences, even those that are hard-to-please, ‘feel’ and ‘absorb’ my songs better.
Inner Sanctum: You are often invited to be a special guest singer at the shows of some Vietnamese divas. However, in your Heaven and Earth concert this weekend, four divas will perform alongside you. Why did you want to include all of them in this show?
I think I was able to gather four divas for my upcoming show thanks to our close relationship. We met each other when we were all taking our first steps in showbiz, so, over the years, we became good friends. All of us not only share the same musical aesthetics, but also regard each other as brother and sister.
In addition, according to the show’s “Heaven and Earth” concept, each singer, in their own style, symbolises different basic elements of the universe, and will bring different ‘colours’ to the show. While Hà Trần is Metal, Mỹ Linh is Wood, Hồng Nhung is Water, Thanh Lam is Fire, and I – Earth.
In harmony, heaven and earth create the miracle of life. In harmony, each of us, with a different music style, can together present the beauty of creativeness.
Inner Sanctum: Your production team has contributed significantly to the success of your shows. How do you appreciate their work?
Although concert goers only see me on the stage, there is always a large supporting team behind me. So far, I have produced seven albums and seven live shows over 15 years working in showbiz. This output is evidence not only of my hard work, but also the utmost efforts of the whole team, including my wife. Together with me, she often provides fresh ideas for my musical creations. I also take her advice on controlling the weirdness that’s inside my artist’s body. There is a famous quote “Behind every successful man is a great woman.”
Inner Sanctum: The Heaven and Earth show is your eighth, marking your 15-year career since you won the Giọng Hát Hay Hà Nội (Hà Nội Best Voice) singing contest. How has your career progressed since that milestone?
Among the new songs that I will perform at the weekend is a song entitled Thiêu Thân (Ephemera). More or less, I think the song presents my own personality on the path of creativeness – instead of being satisfied with all the success I’ve achieved, I always plunge myself into new challenges and am willing to pay for those. However, after experiencing many challenges, I’m getting more and more ‘mature’.
Inner Sanctum: At your previous concert Một Thập Kỷ Hoan Ca (A Decade of Joyful Singing) in December 2015, you were overcome with emotion when you announced the birth of your first child on stage. Since then, how have you been enjoying fatherhood?
Adults can learn a lot from children. Observing my son playing with a new toy that he doesn’t yet know how to operate, I can learn patience. I also learn from my little boy how to say ‘no’ to fear, and the willingness to take risks just to be able to discover new things. Whenever I am on the stage and know that he is somewhere in the audience, I feel warmth in my heart, then I can devote myself completely to the performance. I want, in his eyes, the image of his father to be imposing.
I was able to understand the meaning of fatherhood when my son was born. I felt myself more mature when I began to shoulder the responsibility for my family and children. He is a part of me. My greatest happiness is to be with him, nurturing him and watching him grow up.
Inner Sanctum: How is your relationship with your step-daughter?
After living under the same roof for the past eight years, I have developed a strong bond to my step-daughter. Despite not being her biological father, I always give her attentive love and care. I’ve never discriminated between my son and her. I know she is proud of her step-father. – VNS