V-Pop: What is it? Where does it come from? Why do you care? Thankfully there is somebody like me around who will spend the time to answer these VERY important questions!
V-Pop is short for Vietnamese pop music. Similar to the ever popular K-Pop (Korean) or J-Pop, and even P-Pop or OPM (both stand for Pinoy pop aka Philipines). All these terms fall under the umbrella of A-Pop or Asian pop. It may seem weird to define a genre of music by race or culture but there are tons of people who fiercly support their countries pop music over another’s. For instance, when this patriotic Filipino took to Twitter and started trending #NoToKpop and #YesToOPM. Wars like this happen all over social media and go to show how much people adore their respective countries pop hits.
OK! Enough about that, let’s get to why we are here!
Vietnamese pop music can probably be likened to the little boy/girl in the shadow of their big popular older sibling. They want to get out of their shadow but can’t help imitating them a little bit and there is nothing wrong with that. Vietnam in general is a country that has the fastest growing middle-class in all of Southeast Asia, in fact the number is supposed to double by 2020. What that basically means is the general population will increasingly have more money and the ability to enjoy music and other parts of culture that were previously inaccessible to them. With this comes the rise of pop music and it is really exciting to see the face of pop grow and change in Vietnam.
Here are some artists worth checking out:
I discovered Hồ Ngọc Hà about three years ago. I think I stumbled upon her on some crazy YouTube binge. She has a pretty big following but there are also a lot of people who don’t like her and some rumors that go around about her – and no it is not about how she looks like a lady boy! Either way, I love her! Below are a couple of her more “poppy” hits that are worth watching:
A few weeks ago I discoverd the amazing and fun Hoàng Thùy Linh! She is probably the closest thing to a North American pop star in looks and style (fashion and music). Here are some great songs to party to this summer:
Mỹ Tâm is one of the biggest pop stars in Vietnam right now. She is apparently the first V-Pop star to ever sell out a stadium – I guess stadium concerts aren’t a big thing there – and she took home the bronze in the Asia Music Festival in Shanghai, China in 2000. I also like that she has taken part in projects like this MTV campaign to end exploitation and trafficking. Check out one of her songs here:
“Where the boys at!?” You may be asking. Don’t worry I didn’t forget about them! I don’t have any info really on Sơn Tùng, but give him a listen and judge for yourself! Here is one of his tracks:
This next band may remind you of another A-Pop band… Remember how I said V-Pop is a bit like the younger sibling in the shadow of their older, more popular sibling? 365 Daband is a bit like the younger brother to the super popular K-pop group BIGBANG. They may be a bit of a cheap imitation but they are still pretty fun! Check out a couple of their songs here:
So what do you think of V-Pop? Fan? Don’t care? WELL TOO BAD!
V-Pop may seem like an imitation of K-Pop for the moment but I am sure as it develops it will go on to take a life of its own. I for one love it! I mean who doesn’t like fun dance tunes that remind you of the 90s!?
Note: Just wanted to rep this site http://onestop-vpop.tumblr.com/ for being a great source of V-pop music! Check them out!