After a gap of almost 30 years, female musician Trần Le Giang has returned to music. She has written songs including Coi Nguồn (The Root). It is an entry for the song writing contest entitled Hat Len Viet Nam (Let’s Sing, Viet Nam).
From Scotland, Giang chats with Nhan Dan Cuối Tuần (People’s Weekend) reporter Vũ Quỳnh about her return to music.
Why did you take such a long break from music?
That's how life is. Sometimes it pushes us in a different direction than what we had planned before. I quit studying to be a teacher and found that I had a passion for music. And I became a student at the Viet Nam National Academy of Music.
But then that passion was put aside because I had to earn a living. I'm not the type of person who forces herself to sit at a desk and write. I want the composition to be natural and it helps me to express my emotions.
At this time, I probably don’t have much to think about so spend my time on music.
You became popular with your first songs including Đất Nưoc Tình Yeu (Country and Love) and Ưoc Mơ Xanh (Green Dream). What was the meaning behind these songs?
Ưoc Mơ Xanh was my first song. I wrote it the first day I became a teacher. At that time, I was a new graduate from the Ha Noi National University of Education and I was assigned to teach at the Đong Dư High School in Gia Lam District.
I was both happy and nervous. The school had lovely students. At the end of class, I rode my bicycle home feeling overwhelmed that I didn’t have time to park the bike properly and rushed into my room to write, forgetting my lunch.
I remember that I surprised my parents. I also did not expect that the song would be so well received. When I wrote this song, I had a little music theory that I learned at school.
Then I attended a training course with celebrated musician Hồng Đăng.
The song Đất Nưoc Tình Yeu was composed when I was student at the music academy. Radio the Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) launched a song writing contest on the 35th anniversary of National Day.
The song was inspired by my first love with a young soldier. It was a sincere and truthful feeling. It was broadcast on VOV and its popularity after that was also beyond my imagination.
Your new songs all carry a feeling of nostalgia for your homeland. Do you write the songs to express your love for the country?
Yes, it is true. Some of my friends listened to my new songs and they told me that if I was still living in Viet Nam, I wouldn't be able to write these songs. I’m living abroad and I’m always missing my homeland.
The song Coi Nguồn is to mark my return to music. I entered it in the song writing contest Let’s Sing, Viet Nam held by VOV.
I’m supported and encouraged by colleagues and fans to continue writing a series of songs about my homeland and nostalgia. I was moved to tears when I composed the songs.
How is your life in Scotland?
I settled down in Scotland many years ago. I run a coffee and gallery to introduce Vietnamese culture with paintings, lacquerware and coffee. I welcome guests who know and love Vietnamese culture.
Have you ever thought about the successful career you could have had?
I think everyone has a different destiny. There are always unexpected things in our life. But each time I overcome a difficulty I have more power to be stronger.
I also learned a lot from loss. When I do something, I will make every effort to achieve success.
Music is always my career. But I don’t write music to seek fame. I write to pay a debt of gratitude for all sentiments I receive from life. - VNS
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