Boy band A1: 'We look forward to performing in Vietnam'

By Dat Phan   July 26, 2022 | 01:28 am PT
Boy band A1: 'We look forward to performing in Vietnam'
Members of A1: (from left) Mark Read, Ben Adams, Christian Ingebrigtsen, and Paul Marazzi. Photo courtesy of event organizers
A1 says it can’t wait to get in front of Vietnamese audiences and perform its once popular hits such as ‘Like a Rose’ and ‘Learn to Fly’.

The British-Norwegian boy band is set to perform at the HAY Glamping Music Festival in Hanoi on August 6.

The band consisting of Paul Marazzi, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Mark Read, and Ben Adams was formed in 1998 and has many hits under its belt like 'Every time,' 'Take On Me' and 'Like A Rose.'

It has won three BRIT Awards, the British equivalent of the U.S.’s Grammy Awards.

Speaking to VnExpress online, the members of the band said they have always wanted to visit Vietnam.

They hope to visit some of its famous destinations and enjoy its best foods. Adams’ wedding photographer was a Vietnamese woman currently working in Norway, and he said he had asked her to recommend some must-try experiences in Vietnam.

Read is keen to try Vietnamese foods, especially spicy ones, and said a friend had suggested he should try deep-fried insects.

Ingebrigtsen is eager to try the local beers.

Asked about how they plan to prepare for the event, they promised to dress up and make sure they look great."We all probably have to cut our hair before coming."

Their favorite songs include ‘The Things We Never Did’ and ‘Like a Rose’ but they agreed ‘Caught in the Middle’ topped the list.

Fortunately, they are not bored with their old songs.

Some of their songs are not popular in Europe but well-known in Southeast Asia, they said.

"We enjoy performing those songs. Many songs have not been even sung for many years because the audience in Europe has never heard of them."

They talk about an unforgettable experience in Thailand a few years ago. An hour before the show the organizers asked them to sing ‘If You Were My Girl’ saying it was their most popular song there.

However, they had only sung it once before: in the studio for the flip side of a pop single record.

Ingebrigtsen had composed it but could not remember the lyrics before the Thai concert and had to sit and memorize them again. But on the stage, he could only remember two lines and could not continue further. He then gave his microphone to the audience, and they sang the rest of the song.

"We got goosebumps at that moment."

A1 split in 2002 but reunited in 2018.

"We have less pressure than before. During our tours, audiences just want to listen to old hits instead of new songs. No one expects us to keep releasing hits."

They also enjoy the feeling of being on stage more than before. They now have their own record company and are therefore no longer under pressure from a management company.

"We are lucky that we still have many fans around the world, especially in places where A1 did not have the opportunity to perform 20 years ago like Vietnam."

Asked about the music industry now, they said things are happening at a faster pace.

A1 debuted in the days of CDs and cassettes. On social networks, they describe themselves as "ancient people." However, they are trying to learn.

"We're trying to understand how social networks work. We use TikTok but not often. One of our plans in the next year is to learn how young people use these platforms to release music."

A1 thinks the days of boy bands have not passed yet. There are still several famous boy bands. In the past, some got a bad rap because they were founded on looks and not musical talent. However, that is no longer the case.

"We can see many Korean boy bands today achieving success. Their members all have a chance to shine. Some are talented rappers and vocalists. Another example is One Direction."

Talking about plans for the near future, they said they would regularly release new songs. Recently they released a single, ‘Armor,’ which has been warmly welcomed by their fans.

Besides, they have written a lot of songs and they are choosing their best ones to make an album, but have yet come up with a name or a specific release plan.

"We'll probably call it 'The A Game'."

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