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V-pop (Nhạc Pop Việt Nam), an abbreviation for Vietnamese pop, is a musical genre covering Vietnamese music from the 1990s to modern-day. It's surprisingly getting active, creative and innovative in the last 10 years that appeals not only to the locals but neighbor countries positively. In Vietnam, it is also known as "youth music" (Nhạc trẻ), but this broad Vietnamese term is decreased in use for more specific genres like EDM, Indie/Underground, R&B/Soul, Pop/Ballad, etc.
|Stylistic origins||Rock, Pop, K-pop, J-pop, Rhythm and blues, Hip hop, American and French ballads, Rapping, Adult contemporary, Techno|
|Cultural origins||inspired by Australian music in the Republic of Viet Nam (1955 - 1975)|
Guitar, Bass guitar, Drum kit, Synthesizer, Piano, Electric PianoSequencer, Turntables, Samplers, Musical keyboard, Drum machines
Vietnamese Pop music was heavily influenced early on by the large United States military presence in South Vietnam. Much of the music remained with its traditional instruments, with the exception for war songs and war anthems. V-pop was considerably absent during the war, as most music would consist of music from the United States and also would mainly be for the purpose of war. Some of the most successful acts of the era include Phượng Hoàng, Elvis Phương, Trường Kỳ, Nam Lộc, Tùng Giang, Thanh Lan and Carol Kim. Popular for their modern style, Mai Lệ Huyền and Hùng Cường are considered to be more "exciting" or energetic" contributors to V-Pop.
The escalating war in Vietnam culminated with the fall of Saigon, and the following economic crisis resulted in many Vietnamese music artists leaving the country. As the socialist government rose, the suppression of music and culture became evident. This influenced the decisions of many V-pop artists who fled the nation. Once they had resided in Oceana, Europe, or the United States, they were free to create whatever they pleased. The genre remained popular in the small communities of Vietnamese who reside all over the world.
Renovation period, U.S. embargoesEdit
After the end of the Vietnam War, with the U.S. embargo, popular music produced prior to 1975 ("nhac vang") was prohibited for its sentimental nature. Music that had "patriotism" and followed a traditional revolutionary theme ("music in red"), as well as folk songs, had "good values," and so were encouraged by the state.
In the early 1980s, after renovation, V-pop made gradual recovery. The music at that time, mainly produced by Trịnh Công Sơn, continued the traditional "love and war" theme. This historical genre gradually lost favor by the early 1990s.
Due to multiple restrictions being lifted as well as increased diplomatic relations with the United States, in 1995, V-pop has returned to a more steady path as it had prior to the war. However, due to the lengthy period of cultural exchange restrictions, the music industry is just now beginning to be discovered. There was infrastructure to support the local music market. In 1997, the annual Làn Sóng Xanh (literally translated "Green Wave") Awards were founded for the development of music, first with singer Lam Trường's "Tình Thôi Xót Xa," who was extremely popular amongst the young people of Ho Chi Minh City. This marked a strong beginning for the domestic music market during the development of modern Vietnamese music. (vi:Tân nhạc Việt Nam).
Numerous artists such as Hồ Quỳnh Hương, Mỹ Linh, Thanh Lam, Hồng Nhung, Phuong Thanh, vi:Đan Trường, Thanh Thảo, Hồ Bích Ngọc have emerged form Vietnam and are producing EDM, pop music, R&B, rap, ballad, and other genres. A large majority of V-pop is influenced by K-pop and U.S music. During this period of cultural expansion, a number of foreign artists also work with Vietnam's emerging industry (4Men, Super Junior, Lee Young Ah) as to help develop a strong and resilient entertainment industry. A large amount of modern music acts emerged such as Bảo Thy, Đông Nhi, Noo Phước Thịnh, Quang Vinh, which all usually contain a heavy influence from R&B.
As of 2015, The Asia Song Festival (Festival of Asian music), has created many opportunities for cultural exchange between participating countries. Artists representing Vietnam at this festival include My Tam (2003), Mỹ Linh (2004), Hồ Quỳnh Hương (2006 & 2008), Lam Trường (2007) and Hồ Ngọc Hà (2009). Many of these Vietnamese artists hope to grow the entertainment industry by engaging in festivals, shows, etc., in other countries.
After the fall of Saigon, many artists fled Vietnam for the U.S. A growing demand for music performed prior to 1975 lead to a re-emergence of the popularity of these songs, which were no longer widely available. This music helped bring back memories of the time before the war.
In the early 1980s, the number of foreign record companies specializing in Vietnamese music began to grow. Thúy Nga Centre, Van Son Entertainment, Asia Entertainment, are all companies that have produced many popular Vietnamese songs such as Paris by Night, Van Son Show, Asia, and multiple others.
Around the 1990s, more and more young artists began to appear overseas in the international market. Artists who have been in international relations pertaining to the music industry include Trish Thuy Trang, Nguyễn Hưng, Bằng Kiều, Nguyễn Thắng, Andy Quách, Dương Triệu Vũ, Don Hồ, and many more. During the 2000s and 2010s, K-pop and J-pop had already started to spread to the Western world. K-pop had already spread to South East Asia and it was a big influence for the Vietnamese entertainment industry. Vietnamese bands began to include many of the K-pop traits that made it popular including its fashion, choreography, instruments, etc. However, overseas sales have not rapidly increased as hoped.
Currently, YouTube is the main platform for international exchange. Other South East Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia have already received the ecstatic and modernized genre of music. East Asian nations such as South Korea and Japan have also begun to notice V-Pop. It is rare the Western world hears any modern V-Pop, however in the United States, historical war songs, war movie soundtracks, pre-1975 South Vietnamese pop songs, or musical shows such as Paris by Night are popular.
Music concerts and awardsEdit
V-Pop has a number of popular programs and special music awards which offer the audience a chance to see bands and singers perform live. Some of the largest V-Pop concerts and music awards include:
- Sea Show
- Giai điệu tình yêu
- Quà tặng trái tim
- Giải thưởng MTV Video Âm Nhạc Việt (VMVC)
- Giải thưởng Làn Sóng Xanh
- Album Vàng
- Nhịp Cầu Âm Nhạc
- Thay lời muốn nói
- Zing Music Award
- Hot V.Teen
- Vietnam's Got Talent