Vietnamese singer wins Billboard kudos

By Hoang Nguyen   January 8, 2020 | 05:25 am PT
Prestigious U.S. music magazine Billboard has praised singer/songwriter Vu Cat Tuong for courage and creativity in her bilingual album.

A Billboard article lauds Tuong, "one of the most famous names in Vietnam’s music industry today," for her powerful voice and ability to write and compose songs in versatile genres.

Photo courtesy of Billboard.

Singer Vu Cat Tuong. Photo courtesy of Billboard.

The magazine also mentions her two previous albums, "Giai Ma" (Decode) and "Stardom", which were well received by both fans and critics, as well as two sold-out concerts: the Birthday Concert in 2017 and Stardom Concert the following year.

About her latest and first bilingual album, "Inner Me", released in November 2019, the article says: "If her second album, Stardom, was meant to be gutsy, bold and strong, "Inner Me" reveals a softer, more vulnerable side. The eight songs on the album were carefully selected from a list of 30 songs. "The Old You," "Ticket For Two" and "Yours" are entirely in English." 

Tuong, 27, shares with the magazine her experience in making the album: "Singing in English is difficult, writing English music is even harder. I had to keep trying to get it right and at least to have a good first step where I have tried my best. From here on, I will have to keep trying if I want to continue to reach out to an international audience."

"Inner Me" was recorded in Vietnam and in Los Angeles, at the United Recording studio where many legends like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have recorded their albums.

"She spent more time and effort than ever before to create the album, because she wanted to take the first step to reach an international audience with good songs that she wrote herself, that would get the attention of this new audience and hopefully start to build a new fan base outside Vietnam," Billboard writes.

The article ends with comments from Tuong’s main producer for the album, Michael Choi.

"Vu Cat Tuong dares to engage and take risks. Hopefully her music would be able to reach the world's ears and take off from there, and I applaud her for wanting to take that first step."

Tuong’s career kick-started with a second place finish in the The Voice Vietnam contest in 2013. Since then, she has established herself as a talented songwriter and producer who has won two Dedication Music Awards for her contribution to the Vietnamese pop music scene and an inclusion on Forbes Vietnam’s 2018 30 Under 30 list, apart from other accolades.

In 2019, along with the release of "Inner Me", Tuong held two concerts, "Dear Hanoi" and "Inner Me". Her music video for "Co Nguoi" (Someone), the lead single from her latest album, accumulated 8.1 million views on YouTube.

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