Singer/songwriter Huỳnh Nữ Thủy Tiên, who goes by the artist name Tiên Tiên, has made quite a name for herself in the Vietnamese pop world with hit songs like My Everything, Say You Do, and Vì Tôi Còn Sống. Born in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam in the city of Bảo Lộc, Tiên moved to Ho Chi Minh City to pursue a career in music. There she enrolled in Soul Music Academy to study music under Vietnamese-Australian singer/songwriter Thanh Bui, who is one of the most successful international artists in Vietnam. His list of accolades include the following:

  • Top 8 finalist in Australian Idol (2008)
  • Composer for Japanese boy band Arashi ("I Won’t Hold Back") and KAT-TUN ("Hello")
  • Composer for Korean idol 2AM Jo Kwon ("Something 'Bout You")
  • Composer for Korean boy band DBSK ("Picture of You")
  • Co-writer and featured in song by Korean boy band BTS ("Danger")
  • Composer of song used by MTV's The Real World ("Licence to Thrill")
  • Composer of song used be HBO's Bad Girls Club ("Kiss and Tell")
  • Judge for The Voice Vietnam (2013)
  • Judge for Vietnam Idol (2015)

Under the tutelage of Thanh Bui, Tiên was able to find herself and become a true artist. Today, the 24 year-old Tiên is one of Vietnam's most unlikely Vpop stars. Her short, curly hair, tomboy style, and husky voice don't exactly fit into the established idea for an idol or pop star that has been so prominent in the Asian entertainment industry. The youth of Vietnam, however, have embraced her unique brand of positive and uplifting music.

Tiên Tiên

Once a timid and depressed girl who would lock herself in her room just to read books and play the guitar, Tiên Tiên has come a long way. In 2013, Tiên appeared on the Vietnamese version of the show The Voice, but failed to make a lasting impression. Back then, she was just another wide-eyed girl still finding her way through life. Now, Tiên Tiên is a much more confident and complete artist with the ability to play many different instruments and write/compose her own songs.


Tiên Tiên is an artist that you need to look out for if you follow Vietnamese music. She is truly revolutionizing the Vietnamese pop industry -- an industry, where pop stars often gain popularity through "scandals" and not through actual music talent. Tiên Tiên is showing that you don't have to sell out in order to make it in the music business. Instead, she is just doing what she knows best (being herself) even if that means not fitting into any previous molds established by society. Instead of following the crowd, she is blazing her own trail. Her music speaks for itself. It's about damn time musical talent triumphs over style and gimmicks. And just maybe...cutting her hair was key to triggering all this success much like another Tiên -- Tóc Tiên. I guess if you're a female singer named Tiên, you should cut your hair. It's like the reverse Samson effect.1

"Vì tôi còn sống (Because I'm Still Alive)" is a song Tiên Tiên wrote after recovering from a scary health condition. She suffered temporary memory loss and convulsions, which led to her being sedated.


NOTES

  1. In the Bible, Samson loses his strength when his hair is cut off.