music • 24 Aug, 2016
With tracks from CL, Calvin Harris, Flume, and Taeyeon from Girls Generation
Under the adorably minted stage name Min, Nguyen Minh Hang rose to prominence during her stint with St.319, a collective of independent dancers who specialized in covering dance moves from K-Pop’s biggest hits. Founded in 2011, their videos mesmerized the internet. Thanks to the group’s stunning abilities and high production quality, they gained a considerable fan base in Vietnam. The group received compliments from some of the K-Pop stars themselves, which led them to expand into an entertainment and talent management company.
Min was one of the forefront members of St.319 and became a breakout star when decided to pursue a singing career under St.319 (the entertainment agency version) two years ago. Her debut single “Tim” (Lost), was one of the most searched tracks in the digital charts. Subsequent releases were also considerable hits among fans. Her youthful image, along with well-produced music videos, represents a new wave of Vietnamese talent.
Her latest single, “Take Me Away”, which made it into our list of videos to check out this month, marks a new journey in her career since she parted ways with St.319 Entertainment. The spunky, refreshing vocalist shared with us her quirks from an impromptu performance gone wrong to her seedling of an ego.
How would you describe your sound for first-time listeners?
It’s a love affair between contemporary R&B and EDM. My music may sound foreign in Vietnam as sad ballads are the norm ruling the hearts of the masses (and consequently the charts). Nonetheless, I choose to stay true to myself. What I do is sneak in some simple catchy tunes once in awhile to balance the spectrum of what I want to make and what people want to hear.
What were you listening to as a kid?
I was (and still) am a full-on K-Pop & J-Pop fan. US/UK hits were also my constant repeats. Two of the top K-Pop acts at the time, DBSK and BIGBANG, define my childhood.
Who are the top 3 artists on your collaboration wishlist?
G-Dragon for his sonic genius plus amazing sartorial style. The ever talented Zico from boygroup BlockB for his producing skills. He was able to make it in the K-Pop scene without any backing from the industry’s biggest players. And Calvin Harris, who probably doesn’t need further introduction.
How would you describe Saigon’s music scene?
It’s very different from Hanoi, where I come from. The scene is ever-changing and has a little something for everyone. Nowadays, many young artists [in Saigon] are debuting with proper training and management under their belts, so I’d definitely look out for them in the future.
Weirdest experience on stage?
There was one time when I didn’t have time to memorize the lyrics of a song I was singing ‘cause the organizer changed program at the very last minute, so I wrote it down on the back of my arm and pretended to do some dance moves to be able to peek the text. Those who were near the stage could clearly see through it and a few bursted out laughing. I felt hella awkward but nothing could have been done.
What your go-to karaoke song?
‘Wish You Were Here’ by Avril Lavinge or Taeyang’s ‘Eyes Nose Lips’.
Fantasy musician to open for?
Probably Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, whom I admire deeply.
My ego is the size of…?
A seed. It’s a barely-there sort of ego.
The one track you can’t stop listening to these days?
‘Whistle’ by BLACKPINK. I’m obsessed! It’s highly addictive and the girls’ style is just flawless. Truly, their debut speaks to YG Entertainment’s reputation as hitmakers.
Name your spirit animals.
Though my Chinese zodiac is the Dragon, I always see myself as a pup. My love for puppies is infinite.
Where would you take us on a night out in Hanoi?
We’d go to the best snails and seafoods places in town or anywhere cheese-related ‘cause that’s my burning food obsession. Next on the menu is ice-cream as it’s blazing hot in Hanoi right now. Then we’ll cap the night at ‘1900’ club to dance away all the calories we’ve just put on, killing two birds with one stone (lol).
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be?
Sparkling silver. I would be a glitter bomb that would catch everyone’s attention!
Finish this sentence: It’s never too late to…
Pursue your dream (this is also my mantra.) Don’t let others’ opinions dictate your destiny. Your life is yours only. Better late than never!
'AAMixtape: MIN' Tracklist:
Zico - I Am You, You Are Me
The Chainsmokers - Closer (ft. Halsey)
CL - Lifted
Blackpink - Whistle
Ohhyuk - Isn't She Lovely (cover) feat. Kim
Yerin Baek - Bye bye my blue
Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For (ft. Rihanna)
Flume - Never Be Like You (ft. Kai)
Min - Take Me Away
Min - One Day
Taeyeon - Why
베이빌론 (Babylon) - 처음 본 여자는 다 예뻐 (Feat. 릴보이)
Dean - I'm Not Sorry (ft. Eric Bellinger)
Younha - Get It? (feat. Ha:tfelt, Cheetah)
Taylor Swift - Out Of The Woods
Images courtesy of MIN
Words by Quyen Hoang, Izzy Pulido
Graphics by Thanh Duong