Vietnamese indie singers make their mark

March 27, 2022 - 09:26

A new generation of singers not following any trend or making expensive music videos have gained great popularity on YouTube and other music streaming platforms.


Hương Ly, a new face in Vietnamese music, has been making waves with gentle covers. Photo:

A new generation of singers not following any trend or making expensive music videos have gained great popularity on YouTube and other music streaming platforms.

Several of them perform covers of their choice but do it so well that their presence is changing the Vietnamese music market, affecting the chart positions of mainstream singers who have already achieved fame, popularity and commercial success.  

New singers like Chu Thúy Quỳnh, Yến Tattoo, Yuniboo, Phát Hồ, Huy Vạc, Dee Tran, Suni Ha Linh, Sơn Vie and Thái Học have gained fans with their unique voices and personalities.

Most are not influenced by popularity or linked to any music management company, giving their performances a fresh, spontaneous and different feel.

Hương Ly is one such singer who has attracted a lot of attention.

Her gentle rendition of covers with natural emotional expression and accompaniments by piano or other instruments have garnered millions of YouTube views. 

She told the Dân Trí newspaper that she was surprised that her covers were widely received.

"The title' cover phenomenon' that people have given me still feels a bit strange, but it is a great joy to receive their love. It is a motivation for me to continue what I am doing," she said. 

Small in stature, Trang is another non-mainstream singer making a mark with a voice that some have described as "magical". Her melodious compositions are mostly confessions and sad love stories. 

Trang has composed some songs for famous singers like Hôn Anh (Kiss You) by Min or Bài Hát Của Em (My song) by Uyên Linh.

"Shy words, sweet sound and tender melodies" is how she describes her music.


Shy words, sweet sounds and tender melodies are the features of Trang's music. Photo: 

Most of her music starts with a demo and sample that she writes, performs and uploads to her Soundcloud account. 

She often writes songs while playing the guitar, and inspiration comes to her without warning. Hôn Anh was written in 30 minutes.

Her lyrics are like diary entries softly dealing with pieces of her life without giving too much away.

Apart from solo performers, indie bands like Cá Hồi Hoang (Wild Salmon), Chillies, and The Cassette have released albums that have become instant hits.

Many young bands are showing a preference for music that is not stereotypical and can express their personalities distinctly. 

Last year, Chillies released its first album called Qua Khung Cửa Sổ (Through the Window), which  includes 10 songs about 10 different stories.

The album sold 1,000 physical copies by pre-order, an impressive number for such young artists.


Indie bands like Chillies are receiving more attention from fans and media. Photo:

Without confining themselves to a particular genre of music, the album shows the multiple colours of Chillies.

They play everything from alternative rock such as Vùng Kí Ức (Memory Zone), Đừng Khóc (Don't Cry) and Đường Chân Trời (Horizon) to pop songs like Bao Nhiêu (How Much), Qua Khung Cửa Sổ and Mascara.

They have used new styles like synthpop in Giá Như (If Only) and Mộng Du (Sleepwalking), as well as R&B/hip-hop in Một Cái Tên (A Name).

Chillies took the audience through a full range of emotions with their debut album.

Most indie artists control all stages of the music production, from composing, mixing and producing to releasing and promoting their products.

Indie music, which is produced independently of record labels and their marketing strategies, has not only brought new sounds to the Vietnamese contemporary music scene for several years, but also gained international attention. VNS