Young indie bands are top trendsetters in Vietnam's music scene

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Indie bands like Cá Hồi Hoang (Wild Salmon) and Chillies are receiving more attention from fans and media. This kind of music has brought new sounds to the Vietnamese contemporary music scene. Photo:

HCM CITY — Vietnamese music in recent years has become more diverse with the appearance of many young bands with creative styles and unique musical identities.

Indie bands like Cá Hồi Hoang (Wild Salmon) and Chillies are receiving attention from fans and media as both bands have just released their new albums.

On May 5, Chillies released its first album called Qua Khung Cửa Sổ (Through the Window).

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

The album includes 10 songs about 10 different stories told through Chillies’ music.

Without confining themselves to a certain genre of music, the album shows the multiple colours of Chillies — alternative rock material 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 (Through the Window), and Mascara.

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

With the debut album, Chillies takes the audience through a full range of emotions.

Last year, when global streaming platform Spotify released its “Wrapped 2020”, listing the year’s most-streamed artists and tracks in Việt Nam and other countries, Mascara by the Chillies was the most streamed song in the country.

Also on May 5, Wild Salmon released its latest album named Ngày Ấy Và Sau Này (That Day and After That).

The album was made during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a follow-up musical story from the previous album. Wild Salmon experiments with completely new musical materials to impress the audience.

Music bands like Wild Salmon, Chillies and Ngọt, Da Lab all are pursuing the indie music genre. Most young bands prefer this style of music because it clearly shows their personality and is not limited to any stereotype.

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

Indie music, which is produced independently of record labels and their marketing strategies, has brought new sounds to the Vietnamese contemporary music scene for several years.

The popularity of indie artists in the country has caught the attention of international audiences, too.

Last year, the French culture centre (L’Espace) in Hà Nội invited local indie artists like Vũ Thanh Vân, HUB and Ngọt bands to perform at its “Fete De La Musique” (Music Festival), which was livestreamed to music lovers worldwide.

“We want to bring a free and open stage for young Vietnamese artists. Through the internet, we hope to bring them closer to both domestic and international audiences,” said Thierry Vergon, L’Espace director. VNS

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