|Many GenZ artists have revitalized Trinh Cong Son's old hits.
Trinh Cong Son, the famous musician, songwriter, painter and poet, is called the “Bob Dylan of Vietnam.” He became a musician and songwriter in the 1950s, writing on themes ranging from love and romance to philosophy. Over his four-decade music career, Son wrote at least 600 songs, most of them love ballads.
His songs have been popular with generations of music lovers for their simple, rustic melodies imbued with profound messages. There have been many covers of Son’s songs, most recently the EP “GenZ & Trinh” on which popular young singers My Anh, Juky San, Kien Trinh, Hoang Duyen, Obito, and Hoang Dung perform Trinh’s songs in a jazz swing or RnB style, with a bit of the nostalgia of lofi music thrown in.
Singer Hoang Dung, who appears on “GenZ & Trinh”, says the old hits have their own spirit and covering those hits promotes the convergence of past and present.
“I love singing Trinh Cong Son’s songs because they have colorful, upbeat melodies. 'Lodging' is one of my favorite songs because of its uplifting melody, creating a feeling that you’re on an adventure in your life. Covering old hits has become a trend. But, I believe young artists will find a way to renew and bring a new spirit to each song,” said Dung.
Trinh Cong Son is best known for his love ballads, whose lyrics drip with profound meaning, and which benefit from being sung by a singer with a lot of life experience. Singing his songs carries an immense pressure to do it right.
|Singer Bui Lan Huong.
Singer Bui Lan Huong has successfully covered some of Trinh Cong Son’s hits. Huong knows how to use new recording techniques to renew Son’s music without losing its spirit.
“I felt great pressure covering Trinh Cong Son’s songs. His songs are so popular and have been covered by so many artists. I had to practice pronouncing the lyrics and work at adjusting the ambient sounds to make it sound like the original”, said Huong.
The EP “GenZ & Trinh”’s music director Huynh Quang Tuan said that what worried the recording crew most was how boldly to change the songs. Tuan said they wanted the songs to be simple and rustic as Trinh Cong Son’s music has always been. Spice would be added by the young voices while preserving the style and sentiment of the songwriter. The mix was kept minimalistic to respect the singers’ voices and feelings about Trinh’s music.
Needless to say, any new music risks a controversial response from the public. Singer Orange, who has done some musical covers, said, “When covering a song, it is essential to keep some of its original spirit. We not only sing but also compose new material for the song, and hope that our work will be welcomed both by those who love the old song and by those who want something new.”
My Anh and Juky San (below) join the EP “GenZ & Trinh”.
Artists are influenced by their era and reflect their views in their art. Trinh Cong Son’s songs are full of anti-war sentiment, youth, melancholy, love, and philosophy. GenZ artists are always struggling to forge new paths and unleash their creativity. And their efforts are often rewarded by the public.