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Aug 16, 2023 / 22:18

Vietnamese singer collaborates with Taylor Swift's producer

The album features eight songs by Hoang Quyen, heralding the start of her transformation from a pop vocalist to a singer-songwriter.

Vietnamese singer Hoang Quyen has just released A Diary of Melody - the music production has involved the Vietnamese-Australian singer-songwriter Thanh Bui, Benjamin James (chord setting); Tim Van Der Kuil (music producer of Adele and Taylor Swift).

Covering eight songs she wrote and produced herself, this album is Hoang Quyen's fourth studio album in ten years and marks a new chapter in her career as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop performer. 

Singer Hoang Quyen evolves from a pop singer to a singer-songwriter. Photo courtesy of Hoang Quyen

Quyen said she never thought she'd have the opportunity to work with the record producers of the world's top divas, but thanks to Thanh Bui's entourage, it came true.
"I wrote a long letter to Tim, telling him how much I admired him and wanted a collaboration between a European and an Asian musician on my album. I also told him about myself, an Asian singer composing and producing my own album for the first time," Hoang Quyen said. 

Tim responded almost immediately and accepted her invitation.

This album also takes a step forward in production by working with London's Abbey Road Studios, the world's leading record label, on mastering (the final step in audio post-production, where sound elements are balanced and optimized for playback on all multimedia systems).

"Working with the world's top musicians was a great experience that helped me expand my knowledge and get more inspiration," said Quyen.

Quyen, 31, was the runner-up in the 2012 Vietnam Idol competition. She has received much praise from music critics and audiences for her rare vocal timbre.

Thanh Bui, who stopped singing for many years to concentrate on teaching music, returns as a singer on this album. It was he who recognized Hoang Quyen's potential as a songwriter and encouraged her to learn more about songwriting.

 A corner of the exhibition Quyen Gallery #1. Photo: The Hanoi Times

In this collaboration, Thanh Bui sings a duet with Hoang Quyen on the multilingual song Colors in Vietnamese and English. According to Thanh Bui, Hoang Quyen's skill and "diva-like" voice made an impression on him. The musician said that young artists with enthusiasm and original ideas, like Hoang Thuy Linh or Hoang Quyen, will leave their hallmark on Vietnamese music, so he is very interested in working with them.

The production, limited to 100 copies, will be presented as a work of art in a lacquered box. The digital version will also be released on online music platforms.

Currently, this album is on display at the art-music exhibition Quyen Gallery No.1, which runs until September 4 at Vincom Center for Contemporary Art  (VCCA), Royal City, Hanoi.

 The album is placed in a lacquer box limited to 100 copies as a work of art. 

Along with nearly 40 pieces of silk paintings, oil paintings, lacquers, and art installations by renowned artists Tao Linh, Nguyen Tran Cuong, Vu Hiep, Nguyen Manh Thang, and Le Dang Ninh, the exhibition also features the presentation of the music video Let Today Go by Hoang Quyen and artist Vu Dinh Tuan.

According to Hoang Quyen, this is a brand-new initiative, a "moving museum" that shows the harmony in the spirit of artists and fosters "interculturalism" when different art forms are brought together in the same place and at the same time.

 A silk painting by Vu Dinh Tuan.