Nguyễn Khoa Tóc Tiên is a Vietnamese singer from Ho Chi Minh City. As a child, Tóc Tiên (TT for short) had a passion for music. At 13 years old, TT was already juggling going to school with singing professionally. Music, however, was always considered a hobby and not a career path. In 2009, Tóc Tiên moved to California with the intention to prepare for a medical career at her parents urging. While attending college, she was signed by Thúy Nga to be in the popular Vietnamese music variety show Paris By Night. Not having enough time for school work due to her singing commitments, TT decided to switch her major from Biology to Communications after two years.
I don't blame her. Becoming a doctor is overrated anyways. Yet, it seems like every Vietnamese parent wants their child to become a doctor. TT made the right choice in my opinion. There will be other doctors, but there is only one Tóc Tiên. The Vpop world needs Tóc Tiên! It would have been a crime if we were robbed of one of Vpop's brightest rising stars.
In 2015, Tóc Tiên launched a comeback in Vietnam. This time around, TT went with a more mature and sexier concept, much to the chagrin of her mother. During the summer of 2015, TT released her hit single Ngày Mai (Tomorrow). Ngày mai became a viral sensation in VN with the Vietnamese youth uploading their own dance covers of the "Gong Dance" (Vũ Điệu Cồng Chiên) online.1
Since I did not follow the Paris By Night video series, I had no idea who Tóc Tiên was. Ngày Mai was the first Tóc Tiên MV that I watched. Initially, I wasn't a fan. Like TT's mom, I wasn't a fan of her "sexy" image. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like it when girls whore themselves out. Tóc Tiên reminded me too much of American pop star Miley Cyrus and Korean idol Ga-In -- both are kind of whorish and off-putting, IMO. I try to not judge a book by it's cover; so I had to remind myself that just because she was wearing a whore's uniform, that does NOT make her a whore.2
Tóc Tiên was named after her mother's favorite flower that grows on vines that look like "angel hair." "Tóc" means hair in English. "Tiên" means angel, fairy, or spirit. Ironically, Tóc Tiên could also be literally translated to mean pixie haircut. In her younger days, TT had long, frizzy hair that resembled cây tóc tiên seen below. These days, TT is known for her iconic pixie cut. Personally, I usually prefer girls with long hair. In Tóc Tiên's case, I can't argue with the results. She's making it work for her. Although, it does bother me that her short hair sometimes makes her look like a boy -- a boy that I am attracted to...and that's confusing!
Although my initial impression of Tóc Tiên was a bad one, I eventually did a 180 and changed my mind. I initially thought TT was all style and no substance, but I was so wrong. After listening to more of her songs and learning more about her, I realized that I just didn't like her stage persona. Tóc Tiên, the person, is pretty cool in my book. I find her positive energy and enthusiasm very attractive. I love her facial expressions, and I can't deny that she's very musically talented. Since working with Vietnamese Electro producer Touliver, Tóc Tiên has been killing it! As a fan of EDM, I can't help but to be a fan of Tóc Tiên.
Lesson learned. You shouldn't judge someone based solely on appearances. Tóc Tiên is more than just a pretty face. She's an extremely talented and passionate singer who is revolutionizing the Vpop scene.