Pop music used to be defined by excessive budgets, unhealthy amounts of saccharine, and a palpable lack of risk-taking. All of that is still true to a certain extent, but there’s room for a lot more these days. And thankfully so. The soul-driven, bedroom pop of newcomer Mỹ Anh fits the current moment, bringing some joy to the dreariness of our modern times without pretending everything is awesome.
Listen to select tracks from Mỹ Anh below:
过去说起流行音乐，人们想到的都是超高预算的制作、过度矫情和循规蹈矩的做作和表演。所有这一切看起来都在刻板模式下套用技俩，但其实仍有很多开拓的空间。来自越南的新晋音乐人 Mỹ Anh 创作的 Bedroom Pop（在家里自制的DIY独立音乐）契合时宜，没有虚伪地假装，一切自然而然，也为当前这个沉闷的时代带来了一些欢乐色彩。
Mỹ Anh, whose full name is Trương Mỹ Anh, got into music around the time when Vietnam first went into lockdown over COVID-19. Luckily, the country has been one of the most successful in avoiding any spread of the coronavirus within its borders, only recently struggling with the new variants. While their initial lockdown only lasted about a month, some schools stayed closed for even longer, allowing the 19-year-old artist to explore the burgeoning creative scene in Hanoi, where she was born and raised.
Mỹ Anh 全名 Trương Mỹ Anh，在越南因疫情首次封城时开始了自己的音乐事业。幸运的是，越南国内的疫情防控很成功，只是最近因为新变种病毒才再次严峻起来。虽然最初的封锁措施只持续了大约一个月，但部分学校停学的时间更长，这位在河内出生和成长的 19 岁歌手也因此有机会好好探索当地蓬勃发展的创意场景。
“This was my first time going outside of my school’s bubble in a long time,” Mỹ Anh says. “It was my first time meeting artists in the community, first time at indie shows, first big show downtown as an independent artist… a lot of ‘first times.'” The exposure allowed her to connect with other creatives, absorb new inspiration, and make a lot of friends, giving her the confidence to pursue music more seriously and release her first track, “Got You.”
Mỹ Anh wrote, produced, and performed “Got You,” like she does all her music. Over chill beats and a poppy melody, she sings in soul and R&B accents about life and love. She released the track a year ago, but dropped her own dance music video for it a few months back (choreographed by the well-respected street dance crew Last Fire). Late last year, she performed the song live on the national rap competition television show King Of Rap.
Mỹ Anh 说：“这是我这么多年来第一次跳出学校的圈子，第一次认识本地的其他艺术家，第一次参加独立演出，第一次作为独立歌手参加市中心的大型表演……”有了‘第一次’，她因此认识了不少创意人，并结交了很多朋友，获得了新的灵感，也让她更有信心去认真追求自己的音乐事业。2020 年 ，她发布了个人的第一首单曲《Got You》。
和她的所有音乐一样，《Got You》由她一手包揽创作、制作和演唱。在冷静散漫的节拍和流行旋律中，她用灵魂乐和 R&B 风格吟唱关于生活与爱情的歌曲。MV 由著名的街舞团队 Last Fire 编舞，于同年七月发布。去年年底，她在全国说唱比赛节目「King Of Rap」上表演了这首歌。
Although Mỹ Anh is only now coming into her own as an artist, she actually comes from music royalty. Her mom is Mỹ Linh, one of Vietnam’s most famous singers, a diva of the local style of Nhạc nhẹ pop music. Her father is Anh Quân, Mỹ Linh’s producer. Mỹ Anh says she tagged along and sang with them since she was 5 years old. “But I only recently started making my own music, using a little studio in the corner of my room made from my dad’s old gear.” He taught her the music-editing program Cubase by having her recreate other people’s music that she already enjoyed. “I still think that’s one of the most effective ways to learn production. Recreating the arrangements forces you to train your ears, learning each element of a song.”
Mỹ Anh 来自一个音乐世家。她的母亲是越南最著名的歌手之一 Mỹ Linh，是当地 Nhạc nhẹ 流行音乐风格的天后。她的父亲是 Mỹ Linh 的制作人 Anh Quân。 Mỹ Anh 说自己从 5 岁起就跟着父母一起唱歌。“但我最近才开始自己创作音乐，就在我房间角落里搭建了一个小小工作室，用的都是我爸爸的旧设备。”她的父亲教会她使用音乐编辑软件 Cubase，并让她将平时喜欢听的音乐重新编曲。“我觉得这是学习制作音乐最有效的方法之一。重新编曲能很好地训练你的耳朵，去学习一首歌中的每一个元素。
So far, all of her music has been in English. “It feels the most natural to me since I’ve been attending international schools since I was very young,” she says. “I feel most comfortable expressing myself and my stories in English. But I am learning to write lyrics in Vietnamese because it’s a beautiful language.”
She’s only released a few songs so far, nowhere near enough to fill an LP, but now that she’s graduated from high school, you can expect even more: “I can definitely see music and art these days being so much more experimental, free and diverse. Vietnam’s creative scene is beautifully progressing. Being able to take part in that is not only an honor but is also a constant inspiration for me to keep making art that stays true to my vision and my sound.”