Upon hearing the words ‘progressive, modern music from Asia’, Vietnam is not the first nation that springs to mind.
Rich in cultural history, the music of this nation has its foundations in folk and musical theatre.
Alongside these genres, however, is a thriving contemporary scene that encompasses both rock and pop respectively.
Vu Anh Tuan, executive director of An Thuan Media and music producer for Vietnam Television, is confident Vietnamese music is on the rise worldwide.
“K-Pop is so popular here!” says Tuan, “J-Pop, not so much. We make K-Pop here in Vietnam, along with a lot of other pop and rock music. Live music is huge,” he says.
November 29 marks Hanoi’s first K-Pop festival, featuring internationally recognised acts SNSD and Girls’ Generation.
The demand for live music in Vietnam is high, not just for regional artists but international names as well.
“I bring international artists to Vietnam. Last week I brought Kate Miller-Heidke. Westlife have performed and we were talking about Kylie Minogue,” Tuan says.
Often, An Thuan Media does not make a profit from ticket sales, however with such an explosion of Vietnamese interest in western-inspired pop music over the past five years, the nation may become a major player in the not-so-distant future.
“I do it for the love of it”, says Tuan, whose lifetime of music creation, consumption and production allowed his passion to transcend into a career, “Now other people start to love it too.”