Every month, the Wink team diligently digs through new music releases to share the best tracks. This first selection looks back a little further over the last few months. Read to the end, where the picks are compiled into a Spotify playlist or a SoundCloud mix by our resident DJ. Listen.
Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt
Rap blew up last year. And with Rap Viet 2 imminent, or at least a cypher as we traverse these complicated times, it’s set to go to another level. The first season aired last summer and it nudged listeners away from syrupy pop ballads towards kick drums and 808s, and bass music. And now, allied with next-level productions, rap’s going to take over – people like Gill aka Kidwine and Kay Tran from MTP ENT.
Kay Tran’s ‘Nam Doi Ban Tay’ produced by Onion is a stand-out, all smooth R&B flow. Then there’s the hip-hop crew RAPITAL. Their ‘Uayyy Cypher’ that came out in July features MCK, Gonzo and Orijinn. It’s still hot now because lots of other rapper have freestyled over the same beat. Plus there’s been other big releases from tlinh, Hoang Thuy Linh, Wren Evens, DJ W/n and of course the queen, Suboi. In fact, tlinh and Suboi, who first teamed up on Rap Viet, have become the only Vietnamese artists on the Spotify EQUAL Global Playlist.
And Suboi finally dropped her album. ‘No Ne’ marks her return after seven years in the business and recently becoming a mom. It’s probably album of the year…already.
The 1st of September was a big day for productions. Twenty-year-old singer-songwriter MINH dropped ‘Heartbreaker’. The typically emotional track, from the artist who’s been compared to Charlie Puth and Shawn Mendez, was produced in full Dolby Atmos over at InQ International, one of the first times we’ve been able to get the immersive Atmos sound in a production in South East Asia.
Besides MINH’s love-torn ‘Hearbreaker’, it’s all good vibes, despite the dark clouds of COVID circling the country. The #MUSIKDAPDICH challenge really encapsulated that. Rappers, producers and dancers got to create their own content over an original Spacespeakers beat. It was for a good cause too. Each clip shared contributed 100kg of rice to at-need people in the community, with something like 10,000kg donated after a week.
On the downside, despite its popularity, YouTuber Do MIXI dropped Do Toc 2 a track that’s a little hard to love despite guest turns from Masew, Phuc Du and Phao. ‘My Ninjas’ was a disappointment too. The GOODMOODGOKU track features Dycal Siahaan and Lil Wuyn but somehow the lyrics felt kind of empty and too abrasive for Asian audiences. However, that won’t stop Lil Wuyn from having a big year. He’s definitely going to be a highlight of Rap Viet 2, and there’s rumors of an album dropping next year.
Here we select the tracks of the last month or two that go from flirtatiousness, to that feeling of falling in love, to rolling with the crew, and finally finishing with prayers for the community. This is the best new music released in Vietnam this summer.
Suboi’s ‘Best Friend’
The track has this kind of haunting conversational tone, driven by bass guitar. Suboi’s vocals are a real highlight here.
My Anh & Khac Hung ‘Real Love (Heroes Version)’
Another track that’s all about the vocals. This time a duet. It’s a remake of the original by Kimmese and JustaTee. It’s stripped-back, just bass and keyboard, which lets their vocals really shine. The track first appeared on the Heroes TV Show.
Wren Evens ‘Thich Em Hoi Nhieu’
Wren Even’s first track in Vietnamese. It’s catchy and cool, and it’s been trending on the Vietnam Music Chart for a few months now. Positive vibe, checked.
HIEUTHUHAI ‘Nghe Nhu Tinh Yeu’
Gerdnang’s HIEUTHUHAI drops a catchy song full of the vibe of falling in love for the first time. The lyrics and the beat get into your head. And you can’t get them out…
tlinh ‘Gai Doc Than’ produced by 2Pillz
A track that had to make this playlist. It’s a real inspiration for girls coming through in this generation – positive vibes, and on this track, tlinh expresses both her confidence and independence.
Kay Tran ‘Nam Doi Ban Tay’ produced by Onion
This is Kay Tran’s first solo project, and it’s with MTP ENT. Upon its release, this was an immediate hit, something like a sun-kissed modern R&B. Super catchy. And so easy to dance to.
Gill (KIDWINE) & RPT Orijinn ‘Van Rung’
Gill and RPT Orijinn make a good combination. And the trap beat is a real head-nodder.
Wxrdie feat. Tommy Teo ‘Youngz’
Another trap release from WXRDIE, a hard beat that features the mercurial talent that is Tommy Teo and his distinctive voice.
RAPITAL ‘Uayyy Cypher’
Three years of RAPITAL and they drop this, ‘Uayyy Cypher’. It’s a crew track with verses from MCK, Gonzo, Orijinn and others, and, partly thanks to the video, the track that’s produced by PhongKhin, has rightfully blown up.
B Ray ‘Nao Co Se Tra’
Rap with a story. B Ray breaks down the trauma of COVID and the debts and despair everyone seems to be accruing. The track featured on B Ray’s 2020 album, but it’s making a comeback after he decided to make an official video for the track. Since its release, the restrictions have become even tougher…
Rtee & TINLE feat. Min ‘If you have a dream 2’
Part 1 was a success for Rtee. So he’s followed it up with a sequel. Part 2 dropped in August, and Rtee is joined by TINLE and Min on this uplifting track. The lyrics are especially meaningful. It’s a song about fighting for your dreams and never giving up. But the song also resonates with this period in time as the community fights to keep the city alive and bring life back to normal through the pandemic. It’s an important message and one we all need to hear right now.
Dick x Charles ‘Long Vong Sai Gon’
The video for ‘Long Vong Sai Gon’ perfectly captures the simple joys of riding around town on a motorbike. In the background, Saigon’s landmarks drift by. It’s the perfect antidote to long periods spent at home during this lockdown.
Dustin Ngo, wAvy, XOLITXO, tlinh, da/md and Mess ‘Night’
Another hot new track, with another unmissable music video. The concept’s insane, and the dark trap mood simmers with apocalyptic energy. One to listen to over and over.
SOOBIN ‘Thang Nam The Playah (Special Performance)’
A good direction for SOOBIN. A remake of ‘The Playah’ with producer SLIMV, combines R&B with funky vibes…
Translation by Bao Ngoc Ly