Storm of sound

Vietnam's biggest music event, Monsoon Music Festival, will this year have 60 international and local artists performing in front of an expected 20,000 music lovers.

By JESSICA NGUYEN on November 13,2017 09:12 AM

Storm of sound

Every year, the Monsoon Music Festival introduces various musical genres performed by a range of well-established and up-and-coming international and local artists. With the theme ‘Traffic Manners’, this year’s festival hopes to contribute to the betterment of society through a series of ‘Traffic Manners’-themed musical activities, to raise awareness about drinking and driving and being more considerate while on the road.

The festival will take place at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel from 10 to 12 November and feature 12 artists and bands from around the world, including Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Slovakia, Israel and Estonia, promising to provide a unique musical experience for the audience, who will get to enjoy live performances of Pop, Rock, Jazz, and Electronic.

Storm of sound

WHEN MUSIC AND FERVOUR CONVERGE

Among the singers and bands at the festival, Lost Frequencies is perhaps the most distinguished. Born in 1993, Belgian DJ and record producer Felix De Laet goes by the stage name Lost Frequencies and has soared to success on the international music scene. Releasing his global smash hit ‘Are You With Me’ in 2014 he quickly cemented himself as a name to watch, as the track rapidly hit multi-platinum status and found its way to the No 1 spot in 18 countries.

The first Belgian artist to have his first five singles reach No 1 on the Belgian charts, as well as being the first Belgian artist to hit No 1 in the UK, he went on to release his long-awaited debut album ‘Less Is More’ in 2016 via Armin Van Burren’s iconic Armada label. It dazzled globally.

Storm of sound

Collaborating with Belgian Drum & Bass kingpin Netsky, the pair combine deep house with bassy vibes, with ‘Here With You’ being a fresh mix of Lost Frequencies’ signature guitar sounds combined with Netsky’s bass power and guided by heartfelt vocals from Amy Yo. It’s one of the most anticipated acts at this year’s Monsoon Music Festival, with a long range of music remixes to be played from the albums ‘Reality’, ‘Hall Of Fame’ and ‘Less Is More’, as well as others.

The goal of Monsoon 2017 is to introduce more indie artists to the audience. The organisers have prioritised the creativity and vitality of the music community rather than familiar artists and musicians. ‘I think it’s a very important year for the Monsoon Music Festival, as we’ve chosen some new faces,’ festival director Nguyen Quoc Trung said. Various indie artists have been invited, such as Chris Minh Doky & The Electric Nomads (Denmark), Biuret (South Korea), BUD (UK), Garden City Movement (Israel), I wear * experiment (Estonia), Lavagance (Slovakia), Lowly (Denmark), the other SHI (Germany).

Vietnam is being represented by singer Dong Hung and two popular young bands - Ngot (Sweet) and Da LAB, among others.

Ngot is a Hanoi-based indie band consisting of four members from the ‘9x Generation’ (born from 1990 to 1999), with guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Before releasing their first album, they uploaded their songs on YouTube and their fan base grew tremendously. The band plays pop and rock expressing the views of young people, looking straight into difficult realities through a lens of optimism and love.

Best known as an underground band, some of Da LAB’s songs are popular among young music lovers, including ‘Under one roof’, ‘Hanoi rush hours’, ‘Back home’, and others. The music scene in the 2000s, when they first played, was filled with rap songs revolving around love, but Da LAB’s songs quickly stood out for their different perspective. The band’s music touches on social issues, such as the indifference of modern man or the stifling and impassive feeling that young people face. This is how Da LAB became prominent among rap groups back then.

Another representative from Asia, Biuret, is a female rock band from South Korea and who are expected to set the stage alight with their impressive performance. After debuting in 2005, Biuret has become South Korea’s best-known female-vocal rock band. It opened for Oasis in South Korea, won an Asian version of American Idol, and have been invited to play concerts in the UK, Australia, India, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Defined by a unique and intense sound, Biuret’s music is a blend of modern rock, pop-punk, alternative rock, and folk. Led by the evocative vocals of Hey1, the band captivates audiences with powerful live performances. It’s been said that ‘whether in South Korea or overseas, it would be hard to find a band with the unique appeal of Biuret.’

From Denmark, Lowly formed when its five members - Nanna Schannong (vocals, guitar), Soffie Viemose (vocals, laptop), Kasper Staub (synthesizers), Thomas Lund (bass, Moog) and, Steffen Lundtoft (drums, percussion) - met at the Aarhus Conservatory of Music. The band itself describes their music as ‘noise pop and everything in between’. According to Kasper, ‘noise’ refers to the complex electronic and guitar-infused textures that give Lowly’s songs an unpredictable, genre breaking quality, with further assistance from co-producer Anders Boll, the long-time audio engineer of famed Danish band Efterklang.

Lowly and Bella Union teamed up at the Spot Festival in Aarhus, which resulted in the release in 2015 of the epic ‘Sink Way Into Me’ and the first full-length album, ‘Heba’, consisting of eleven tracks filled to the brim with unique, dreamy, sensual and breath-taking modern takes on pop music. Upon its release, the album received praise both nationally and, especially, internationally.

As part of Hanoi’s long-term development plan, the Monsoon Music Festival will continue to expand in the long run and become a prestigious international music festival in the region. It will also drive tourism in Hanoi, promoting the capital as an appealing cultural hub for local and foreign visitors.

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