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Pop singer voices desire for integrity

Update: November, 17/2014 - 11:43

In the fast-paced showbiz world, singer Uyen Trang stands out for her refusal to follow superficial trends. Gia Binh and An Vu report.

It seems that more doors are opening for Vietnamese pop singer Uyen Trang.

A graduate of the Conservatory of HCM City who initially pursued a career in ballad music, Trang, whose full name is Dao Nguyen Huyen Trang, ended up succeeding in contemporary commercial music, a genre not highly valued by music experts.

In 2011, Uyen Trang released two albums: Dong song va tieng hat (The River and the Singing) and Khong bao gio quen anh (Never Forget You).

Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper surprised everyone by honouring her with the Mai Vang (Golden Ochna) Award for Best Singer of Traditional and Folk Music.

Dau mot lan roi thoi (Never Got Hurt Again), considered as one of Trang's hits, made her the queen of commercial music. Gia Binh and An Vu talk with her about her career and current trends in the domestic entertainment industry.

Inner Sanctum: It was kind of a surprise when your latest ballad album was released. Can you share information with us about this new direction?

Surprise is a word that is always in my dictionary. For each period of my life, I will have a variety of musical works based on my real feelings about my current life. It is very hard to say what I am going to do and what I want. Eventually, time will explain all wonders. This album is also my response to my current choice of music.

Inner Sanctum: In your opinion, was a ballad album released at this very moment because of the current market trend for nostalgia, or was it because the commercial music that made you famous is no longer considered trendy?

It seems we already have the answer in the question. I think the tendency is seen in the way people think. As for me, giving birth to a musical work is absolutely my personal interest and aims to please my audience, who has given me so much support and care. That is the way it was. I was born to do whatever I like, and I do not care much how people gossip about me.

Inner Sanctum: In the fast-paced and noisy currents of the showbiz world, where almost everything is exposed on the Internet and people cling to that to become more famous, you, on the contrary, choose to stay away from that trend. What is the reason for this?

As you know, each person has a different purpose for pursuing art. I do not need to ingratiate myself with those who do not believe in me. That is something vainglorious. Those fantasies are just something created by other people for you, and sooner or later, they will end.

Human beings were naturally born from sand and dust and will eventually return to sand and dust, so I think everyone should maintain a positive and meaningful life, for ourselves and for our community. The heat will still be inside me, and I will preserve it in my own way.

Inner Sanctum: I have the feeling that singers of your generation are welcomed by the audience, but are on the state of being forgotten by the media. What do you think about that?

Well, this is rather a sensitive issue. I think the media is always hungry for information. It gives the readers what they want to know. After all, it is about being professional.

There is a common trend when most readers want to read about "hot boy" or "hot girl" while official, serious news is all the same. Meanwhile, most veteran singers merely concentrate on doing their jobs and do not care about how to squeeze themselves into that virtual world. They devote themselves to the music industry in a quiet way.

As you see, if I want to draw attention, there are tonnes of ways to do so. I just need to go to media, say something childish and get criticised from the public. I will become more famous that way than I am now. But what really matters is how you choose to live your life.

Inner Sanctum: Although you are still invited to many performances, you have moved at a slower pace than many other singers. Is this the common trend or the process of elimination in the music business when young and fresh singers are mushrooming?

I think both are true. Nowadays, many artists have accepted the show, thinking "as much as possible". They have intentionally decreased the value of art. Many musical managers have contacted and invited me to perform in live shows abroad, with low pay and travel opportunities as bonus. I did not know if I should laugh or cry after hearing that. The more unqualified the shows appear, the more disregarded the audiences feel. A bad habit of xem chua, nghe chua (buckshee viewers) is created by these.

Inner Sanctum: Besides running your own business, you also organise singing contests for youngsters. What is your main purpose for organising these events? Do you intend to become a music manager in the future?

I must say that this is my biggest wish. All I want is to do something really significant for myself and many others. I want my Sweet Home music coffee to become a home for art lovers.

Inner Sanctum: After this album, what will you do to build a new image for yourself?

I will pursue ballad music more carefully than before. This genre is a playground for me. I have received much positive feedback from the audience, and I feel like I need to explore this genre more to bring it closer to the audience. However, pop music is still my strong point. I will surely have more works in the future. — VNS

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