By : Dunkine N.
On a sunny Southern California afternoon, we get the chance to meet up with recording artist Da Nhat Yen. She steps into the restaurant in a cute dress, like a fresh breeze into the tight and cozy space. I know we all know Da Nhat Yen from all her massive and exciting performances on the stage, but in real she is quite casual, personable and happy. Da Nhat Yenn started her singing career at a tender age signed with Asia Entertainment while still a student and spent the next 10 years with the Label. She took her talents to forge a brand in the International and American Pop Industry, with hit songs breaking into the Billboard Top 40s Dance and Club charts. And after a period of travel and entreprenural success, she’s back with new original music, back to the Viet language she’s always loved.
PM: Da Nhat Yen, can you give us a sneak peek at some of your current projects?
DNY: I just am getting back to Viet music so it’s been pretty busy writing and starting the album. I want put together something really special, with a different sound. I want this to be a Viet Pop album, with a massive and specific Pop influence. It’s a rare thing in our current industry given the broad range of intermi ngleing genres. The new album and singles will be available thru iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Youtube, as well as other online retailers. I haven’t decided if there will be a traditional printed version.
PM: What made you decide to return to Viet music?
Yen: It’s been 2 years since I’ve done music for myself. I’ve been travelling and wetting my entrprenural feet so-to-speak. I’ve really missed writing and singing. I missed my Viet friends in the industry too. So I decided it was time for an album, a courtship of pop and familiar sounds: new material and re-imagine ones I’ve always wanted to do.
PM: Can you share some special moments from your career start to now, any memories from your experience as an Asia artist?
Yen: I was really young, I didn’t even realize there was a Viet Music Industry until I was in the 8th grade. My parents kind of started it all introducing me to their friends in Viet Music. I started with Truong Thanh productions and ended up signing with Asia much later. I was with them for close to 10 years, and then I decided that I wanted to explore other markets. I wanted to see what a little Vietnamese girl like myself could with the American Music Industry. So I decided to commit to this new project.
PM: Can you tell us a little about your journey?
Yen: Unlike the usual approach most artists take by crafting a crossover project, meaning intermixing the native music with music from the market you are going into, I sort of jumped in both feet with an English song. I was very lucky to have the support of my recoding label; we charted twice with 2 different singles on the Billboard Dance and Club Top 40s. The first single “So Good To Be Wrong” charted at no. 25. I got to tour and perform in a lot of different places. It’s a really sexy Dance record. I love the lyrics as well as the title. The second single “Pretty Ugly” topped at 14 on Billboards and we stayed on charts for about 21 weeks. I was completely ecstatic. It felt surreal, after all the work and labour, sacrifices and commitment. I was able to meet and work with so many wonderfully talented people and mentors and they’ve really influenced my work and vision. My sound has definitely grown I think. I want to continue to contribute to the Viet industry, I want to us to be a competitive player in the 21st century stage.
PM: What is the one thing that made you want to come back to the Viet Music Industry?
Yen: There are so many things; the language, the lyrics, poetry, the way the Viet women are imagined; I grew up with it all , I know it is special. I missed the artists and talents and the fans.
PM: As editor-in-chief at PM, can you tell us more about the development and direction of the magazine?
Yen: My partners and I had such a great experience with another publication, specializing in Craft Beer and Wine. It is now in the process of merging with another publication. I want to chase my next dream, a Viet publication, PM magazine. There aren’t many publications on lifestyle that is geared towards the “youth-ish”. The young Viet generation are limited in choice when it comes to publications that relate to their lifestyle. I want to talk about lifestyle, fashion, health and arts and music, money, food, ..etc. I want to be visually awesome.