By Thu Anh
HCM CITY Restrictions on traditional entertainment channels by the Covid-19 pandemic have turned out to be a blessing in disguise for some young singers presenting their talents online.
Their presentation of personally chosen covers and their own music on YouTube and other music streaming platforms have garnered millions of views and conferred great popularity, not to mention commercial success.
Among this crop of young singers are: Hà Nhi, Phương Thảo, Trần Lâm, and Phan Mạnh Quỳnh.
These artistes have not had to make expensive music videos to win the hearts of millions of fans.
Hà Nhi began her professional career after entering the Top 4 of Vietnam Idol 2015 — a Vietnamese version of American Idol, the famous singing competition reality show.
In late 2020, Nhi decided to perform online covers of some Russian and Chinese songs. Her performances proved to be a phenomenon hit.
Từng Cho Nhau (We Were Together), a Chinese song with Vietnamese lyrics by Nhi, has attracted nearly 9.8 million views on YouTube since its release in July, 2020.
Nhi has since released seven albums and music videos, all well received. Her hits include Vietnamese songs like Trống Rỗng (Alone) and Lặng (Silent).
“I think music is the best way to connect with people and overcome all challenges posed by the pandemic,” said 26-year-old Nhi.
“I have released a series of covers of songs on YouTube last year to get in touch with young fans, find some peace within and generate some hope in the fight against the virus. I was over the moon when my music attracted millions of views.”
Nhi is working on a new online project to release new Vietnamese songs on YouTube and other music streaming platforms.
Phương Thảo, 25, a graduate of the Hà Nội National University of Education, has found fame and developed her music career through YouTube.
Her hits are mainly covers of Vietnamese songs of life, love and youthfulness.
“I have received many congratulatory messages as well as encouragement from fans on my YouTube,” said Thảo, who started her YouTube channel three years ago.
“I read fans’ comments and I know what they want from music and what I should do to make them happy.”
Thảo’s first online album comprised covers of songs by Vietnamese-American male singer Jimmii Nguyễn, released in September, 2020. It has attracted more than 4.3 million views on YouTube.
Her latest album, Hãy Về Đây Bên Anh (Come to Me) released in October, 2021, has 12 songs by young and veteran Vietnamese composers from different periods. It has attracted nearly 1 million views on YouTube.
Thảo plans to release two online music projects in November.
According to music critic Minh Đức of Hồ Chí Minh City Television, the market saw the rise of music streaming, an online music service that became greatly popular during the social distancing period.
“Today, young people enjoy online music and this has encouraged music producers, artists, entertainment agencies and TV stations to constantly bring out new products.
“Vietnamese producers and artists should work together to influence the market on copyright related issues and form new business rules and standards.” he said.
Painter dedicates artworks to victims, rescuers of tragic Hanoi fire
Artist Le Sa Long crafted a series of seven paintings within three days to commemorate 56 dead victims of a recent fatal fire in Hanoi, while also conveying his appreciation for the relentless efforts of both emergency responders and compassionate civilians who fought the blaze and aided the struggling victims.
Long, a member of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association, joined numerous Vietnamese citizens from across Vietnam in closely monitoring news about the fire at an apartment block in Thanh Xuan District of the capital on Tuesday night last week.
The conflagration hit the apartment block down a narrow alley on Khuong Ha Street in the district and claimed the lives of 56 people while injuring 37 others.
|A painting by artist Le Sa Long depicts the scene of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
The tragedy inspired Long to dedicate nearly three days to crafting seven paintings in remembrance of the lost victims.
Out of the seven paintings, five form a sequential narrative.
The initial one portrays the scene of the tragic incident, while the subsequent paintings describe the efforts of emergency responders extinguishing the flames and rescuing individuals from the engulfed building.
|A painting by artist Le Sa Long depicts two brave emergency responders fearlessly entering a burning building to rescue victims in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
The last two paintings consist of individual portraits.
In one, he depicts Nguyen Dang Van, a 30-year-old deliveryman from Bac Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, who valiantly assisted in the rescue of nine people from the fire.
|A painting by artist Le Sa Long depicts police officers, firefighters, and civilians banding together to rescue victims of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
In the other portrait, Long painted Pham Quoc Viet, founder and leader of First Aid Support Angels, a civilian charity organization committed to offering prompt first aid assistance for all accidents in Hanoi.
Viet and his team also provided aid at the scene of the fire last Tuesday night.
“If I have the opportunity to meet these two brave young people, Pham Quoc Viet and Nguyen Dang Van, I will present them with their portrait paintings as a gesture of gratitude for their fearless acts of rescuing people without regard to their own safety,” Long said.
|A painting by artist Le Sa Long depicts emergency responders working at the scene of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
Besides, Long is currently working on another oil painting measuring 120cm x 160cm, centered around a rare moment of respite among the firefighters after they successfully combated the deadly blaze on Tuesday night.
He plans to put this painting up for auction, with the proceeds to be used as support for the families of the 56 deceased victims.
|A painting by artist Le Sa Long depicts a firefighter carrying a child out of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
The artist said he worked diligently to finish the first seven paintings on Sunday night, just before various Hanoi departments and organizations observed a minute of silence in memory of the 56 victims on Monday morning.
The result of his work, however, did not feel rushed at all.
|A portrait by artist Le Sa Long depicts Nguyen Van Dang, a heroic deliveryman who helped rescue nine people from the site of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
Long conveyed the poignant incident with a touch of compassion and sensitivity, paying tribute to the fire brigade and promoting fire prevention and fighting in a gentle and impactful manner.
He agreed with Hoang Song Viet, a prolific composer of traditional southern Vietnam music and performance ‘cai luong,’ on transforming this heart-wrenching incident into works of literature and art as a means to raise people’s awareness about the importance of fire prevention and fighting, particularly in densely-populated urban areas like Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.
|A portrait by artist Le Sa Long depicts Pham Quoc Viet, founder and leader of First Aid Support Angels, a civilian charity organization dedicated to providing timely first aid for accidents in Hanoi, who led his team to help rescue victims at the site of a tragic apartment building fire in Hanoi, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
Vietnam wins silver at Int’l Circus Festival in Russia
Vietnamese artists Hien Phuoc and Thanh Hoa won the silver prize for their circus act titled ‘Moment of Love’ at the second ‘Without Borders’ International Circus Festival, which wrapped up on Sunday (local time) in Russia.
The judging panel awarded three gold medals to performances from two Russian teams and one Chinese representative, according to Le Dien, director at the Phuong Nam Art Theater’s circus in Ho Chi Minh City, which manages the Vietnamese circus duo.
Two more silver medals were presented to two other Russian performances.
Four bronze medals went to the teams from Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Bulgaria.
|Vietnamese artists Hien Phuoc (above) and Thanh Hoa perform the circus act titled ‘Moment of Love’ at the second ‘Without Borders’ International Circus Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
Vietnam’s Hien Phuoc and Thanh Hoa were invited to the second ‘Without Borders’ International Circus Festival, jointly organized by the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Russian State Circus Company in St. Petersburg, after securing a gold medal at the International Circus Festival in Almaty City, Kazakhstan in July with the same performance.
Teams with about 200 artists from 16 countries and regions, including Russia, China, Mexico, Italy, and Ethiopia, participated in the fest from September 14 to 17 (local time).
|Vietnamese artists Hien Phuoc (C) and Thanh Hoa (L) pose with Le Dien, director at the Phuong Nam Art Theater’s circus in Ho Chi Minh City, at the second ‘Without Borders’ International Circus Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 2023. Photo: Supplied|
Vietnam’s Ha Giang halts tourist boat service on famous Nho Que River
Boat service for tourists on the Nho Que River, a popular destination in Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam, has been suspended since Saturday as a result of an unresolved disagreement concerning the temporary management plan for tourist transportation services on the river.
Tu San Agricultural and Tourism Service Cooperative, the only tourist boat service provider on the Nho Que River, located in Meo Vac District, said that its passenger transportation contract with Nho Que 1 Hydropower JSC expired on September 15.
As per the announcement made on the same day, both the parties and the People’s Committee of Meo Vac District had not found a suitable resolution for extending the contract.
Consequently, the cooperative made the decision to temporarily suspend the operation of tourist boats on the Nho Que River.
A 30-minute boat ride on the river, whose tickets cost VND100,000 (US$4.12) per person, takes tourists to Tu San Canyon, through the same route to the Nho Que 1 Hydropower Plant, and return to the boat dock.
Reputed to be Southeast Asia’s deepest canyon, Tu San Canyon boasts awe-inspiring features, including cliffs towering up to 800 meters, a length of 1.7 kilometers, and an astonishing depth of nearly one kilometer.
This canyon is the result of a wondrous process that unfolded millions of years ago, back when this area was submerged beneath the vast ocean.
Through geological transformations, as the earth’s crust shifted and waters receded, erosion gradually shaped this distinctive and enduring geological marvel.
The canyon, along with the Nho Que River and Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass, constitutes a trifecta of stunning natural landscapes in Meo Vac District, Ha Giang, making it an unmissable destination for tourists visiting the northern mountainous province.
The temporary halt in tourist boat services on the Nho Que River implies that travelers visiting Ha Giang during this period will miss the chance to encounter the renowned canyon.
However, there are alternative experiences available for visitors to select from, Giap Van Hai, a longtime professional tour designer and tour guide in Ha Giang, told the news site VnExpress.
Hai suggests that tourists consider embarking on a trek along the White Cliffs trail, which provides a gorgeous panoramic view of the Nho Que River and Tu San Canyon.
The trek covers a distance of five kilometers and typically takes between 2.5 and 3.5 hours, depending on the physical condition and preferences of the visitors.
In addition, travelers can visit the section dubbed a ‘mini Tu San’ on the same Nho Que River for activities like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or traditional boating.
This area, known as Khau Vai Canyon, is situated in the northern part of Meo Vac District, along the border between Ha Giang and Cao Bang Provinces.
Similar to the famous Tu San Canyon, Khau Vai Canyon, located at the base of Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass, boasts striking cliffs on both sides and a picturesque turquoise river.
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