For the past two years, Vietnamese pop singer Bích Phương has been tirelessly at work on her Vietnam Vietnam project -- a project aimed at promoting Vietnamese culture by using captivating pop music videos as a medium to showcase the beauty, creativity, and passion of Vietnamese people. Bùa Yêu, for example, is one such MV under the Vietnam Vietnam project that has successfully created much excitement and interest in Vietnamese culture throughout the internet.
Chị Ngả Em Nâng is BP's latest MV following BP's other recently released MV Drama Queen -- a more slow-paced love song about heartache, which traditionally has been the most popular style of music amongst the general Vietnamese population. Once again, BP with the help of Tiên Cookie, Phạm Thanh Hà, and DuongK is taking Vpop world by storm, yet again, by pushing the boundaries of how Vpop is defined much like with Bùa Yêu. I think it's safe to say that there's no other Vpop song out there that does what Chị Ngả Em Nâng does. I never know what I am going to get with Bích Phương, and that's the reason why I love her music so much.
For the MV for Chị Ngả Em Nâng, BP got real dramatic. She is a "Drama Queen" after all. The MV is essentially a Bollywood film that is overly dramatic and ridiculous...and I love it! There's a crazy Persian werewolf-man just slapping the shit out of everything in sight. There's a pregnant man giving birth to a dragon baby like it's Game of Thrones. There's BP practicing dark magic and flying in like she's Storm from the X-men. Shit is just cray! And for some reason, this MV totally reminds me of Easter with all the colorful eggs, chocolate sweets, and religious Christian imagery.
Looking past all the dramatics of this MV, the root message of Chị Ngả Em Nâng is pretty simple. It is a song that was inspired by BP's close friendship with her childhood friend. It's about sisterhood and supporting each other in tough times. "Chị ngả em nâng," or "you bend/recline/stoop, I'll lift (support) you" is a play on the famous Vietnamese proverb "chị ngã em nâng," which means "you fall, I'll lift you up." Believe it or not, there are people online arguing if ngả or ngã is more grammatically correct/appropriate. Either way, the message is pretty much the same.
"Lean on me, when you're not strong. And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on..." -- Bill Withers.
Like it says in the classic song Lean On Me, we all need someone to lean on. And if you're not old enough to know that song, then there's also the more recently released EDM song Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake. Interesting enough, the MV for Lean On is also very Indian in theme. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.
Anyways, I love the moombahton from Mumbai feel of Chị Ngả Em Nâng. And if this is the type of new age pop/electro music that is on Bích Phương's new 7-track Dramatic album, then sign me up. Now, I just have to figure out how to get someone from Vietnam to smuggle me a copy of this special photobook + CD release like it's the latest iPhone.