Creating a playground for young people

– It seems that musical life in the past year has seen many positive changes, since Bandland, a was in the 2020 Dedication Music Awards?

– In recent years, music has moved in the direction of more individual artists, while indie music and electronic music have taken the throne. On the whole, the current environment sees an imbalance, so recognition from the 2020 Dedication Music Awards encourages us to try harder, creating new programmes to create a playground for the bands and spread positive energy in the community.

The changes over the past year have given us more time to reevaluate our values. Valuable things are still recorded, entertainment programmes are "dissected" and analysed. Worthless programmes will be condemned by the community. In the art field, there have been positive changes, with better quality music and entertainment products. Recordings following the Kpop trend are also getting better, indie artists have performed well and reached recognition at regional level.

A generation of young artists, with their independent, creative thinking, has produced many good products. Thanks to technology and social networks, when I implemented the Bandland project, I discovered many positive "factors", but they are operating spontaneously, so it is necessary to give them a launch pad. The indie community will be one of the main factors driving the development of Vietnamese music.

– And that motivated you to do the Bandland project?

– In Bandland, there are bands from the community, many indie bands. These bands present a completely different style of playing music from what we tend to see in the market. Their compositions also carry many personal touches. They are a source of youthful energy, and as I said, they will be a new source of new energy for Vietnamese music.

The purpose of Bandland is to build a community of bands, musicians who love to play music and create a bonding passion together. Many people love music but do not know how to connect, in our playground they find peace and a common passion. Before coming to Bandland, many bands had a habit of playing cover music. Thereafter, I requested they must make their own compositions. I always aim to help them create their own path like that.

– Looking into the long term, is Bandland a place to connect, nurture talent and activate the creativity and development of Vietnamese music?

– As you can see, "Ban Nhac Viet" (Vietnamese Bands) is also a programme for the band, but only within the framework of a competition. There are even bands formed just to take part in the competition.

Musician Duong Cam

Meanwhile, Bandland is not a competition but a playground for those who need a place to play, release energy and showcase their compositions to friends and musicians together. Many of them do not wish to become famous, just become more satisfied with their passion for music. Bandland incubates talent.

Bandland’s successful journey takes five to 10 years, to create a generation of not only singers but also musicians, bands. Singers will not lip-sync, but sing live. It is the resonance of a community from singers to music players, composers, forming an entire production line, not just singers. This promises to help make a change in Vietnamese musical life.

In Bandland, singers are not number one, singers must have musicians, bands, a connection with each other. I encourage the musicians, the instrument players, the composers, and the performers, that helps us move in a more multidimensional manner instead of focusing on only one spearhead – the singer. That will motivate the artists to create more.

– After a journey of nearly a year to build a music community, what achievements has Bandland made?

– I introduced some bands to participate in programmes and received a positive response.

The "show-bosses" are often afraid to take risks, and try new ones. Inviting a singer to the stage is simple and fast, meanwhile inviting a band is cumbersome, but in return the band’s performance has more vitality and energy. As a more exotic, fresher dish, it is sure to be more attractive in the end.

Worthy trade-offs

– Talking to you, I feel a positive energy about music life.

– Maybe because I work directly with young people, I receive many positive things from them.

Over the years, I have focused on implementing great shows for top Vietnamese artists, divas, divos, and stars, at times I felt like I was at the top.

But I am not satisfied, so I went back to working with young people, and the enthusiasm they give me is strong. I was able to relive my youth when I played in the band, but there was no playground for me to show my passion. Seeing them all play their best on stage and being well received by the audience, I feel happy.

Obviously, nowadays there are still many programs that attract millions of views, but the audience also realise that their view can be either real and virtual. If I just sit and look at the numbers, I will be very pessimistic and negative. Instead of sitting and doubting, let’s get to work and when we do we have faith.

Not now, but gradually, musical life will change and become more civilised.

– So in the new year, how will you continue your journey with Bandland?

– I am now taking the first steps and have a long-term plan.

In the second year, I will expand my "land". We will introduce bands from the central region, then Ho Chi Minh City. There are a lot of bands that have gotten to know the project by word of mouth, and then applied to join the Bandland. It is important they find a lot in common with one another and have a playing field upon which to bond.

In addition, we also maintain monthly concerts for bands and hold fundraisers to fund their activities. Bands with a new product release project can send us a resume. If the project is good, we will review and finance them.

– What provides you with so much fresh energy and excitement to keep following your path?

– Obviously, the artists must always have their opinion.

From the very beginning, I was determined I would go on this path, work seriously and work towards making valuable programmes.

It is a persistent, tireless process. There was also a time when I had to work on many programs, because I had to take care of all the bands, but I did not deviate from my mission. There are many trade-offs for the artist to go their own way and nowadays, I feel that those tradeoffs are worth it, I have no regrets.

Even though I’m not rich, I’m always happy and excited.

– Thanks for your thoughts!