As one of the leading musicians in Việt Nam, Quốc Trung is the founder and director of Monsoon Music Festival. Since 2013, the annual event has presented a line-up of international singers and bands from around the world.
Trung also works with young Vietnamese musicians and encourages them to follow their dreams.
He speaks with Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper reporter Bảo Trân about young musicians
You often have the chance to work with young musicians. What do you think about them?
There is little international co-operation and exchange between Vietnamese music and other music in the world. Therefore, young musicians are not updated about music trends in the world and they don’t have the opportunity to know about them.
They have almost no chance to perform despite working hard and creating good music products. Few producers dare to hire young artists for profitable shows, especially large-scale shows.
The faces that we still see in the music scene come mostly from reality shows. There is a boring lack of diversity of music genres.
I think that our music has not changed much in 50 years. Mostly, singers sing on the stage and their music product is the music video.
New bands were born and died because they could not develop.
Of course, there must be a good market and environment to develop. But the artists themselves need professional and creative direction to introduce their music to the audience.
There are not many opportunities for young musicians but are they still energetic and passionate about music?
They have the same answers when they are asked about their purpose in music. They have a passion for music.
They follow their passion but when they don’t achieve success, they get discouraged.
We need to help them to learn that it is not easy to win success. If someone succeeds easily and quickly, it is easy to lose perseverance.
The most important thing for young musicians is to know to accept the other side in their choice.
As the founder of Monsoon Music Festival which draws young bands from around the world, what’s the biggest difference between international and Vietnamese artists?
I have had the chance to work with international artists and I see their work intensity is much higher than Vietnamese artists. Their working time is double or triple than of Vietnamese artists.
I have to work much more than eight hours a day to achieve what I want.
If young musicians work only one or two days a week, surely they cannot be called musical talents.
The only strength of Vietnamese artists is uniqueness. We are less known in the world. So if we are introduced as Vietnamese we may get attention, but will only succeed if we are truly talented and catch up with world music trends.
International bands are growing fast. Great Escape Festival in the UK is attended by young bands. But just two or three years after the festival, some of these bands are popular in Europe.
In your opinion, what is the best way to support young bands?
It is providing opportunities. We want to give them the opportunity. Recently, some underground bands such as Chillies, Ngọt, Lộn Xộn and Da Lab have become known.
My company Monsoon has been invited to join in a project launched by the French Cultural Centre to help young bands in Việt Nam. I hope the project will be helpful to create co-operation between Vietnamese and international artists.
It is necessary to have a strategy for music industry development from the relevant bodies. But the most important thing is from young artists. They should have the motivation to develop their career.
Could you tell us more about this project?
The project will create opportunities for the development of musical talents. Selected artists will be supported to build their career by providing knowledge and tools. They will have the chance to attend training programmes or workshops which have been designed to help them gain confidence.
How will the Monsoon Music Festival support young artists?
Maybe from the next Monsoon season we will create a new stage for the young artists. We want to inspire them to seek opportunities by themselves for introducing their products.
Attending the Monsoon Festival, the young artists will have the chance to work with professionals and exchange with each other. VNS
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