Singer Ha Le: Learning and pondering to create new values

Rapper and singer Ha Le’s Trinh Contemporary project, which made its debut in March with the aim of bringing a new spirit to musician Trinh Cong Son’s songs, has received a lot of positive feedback from the public and experts alike.

Singer Ha Le
Singer Ha Le

He officially released an album of Trinh Cong Son’s music entitled “O Tro” (Temporary Stay) via online music listening platforms.

Q: How did listeners comment on your album “Temporary Stay” following the first days of its release?

A: It can be said that the response from listeners was very positive and I am very happy. Some people like this song and others like that song while several people said they like all songs in the album. They also commented that the sound quality via online sites was very good. The number of shares and purchases of the album was also quite high. I still wait and listen for more comments from audiences to learn and gain experience for my upcoming products.

Q: In your album, you coordinated Trinh music with many other different genres of music such as rap, contemporary dance and hip hop, which seem like a strange and difficult fit with Trinh music. In your opinion, what is the most important element in the spirit of Trinh music?

A: I am very sympathetic to musician Trinh Cong Son’s perspectives, ideology and way of feeling about life through his songs. Through each song, whether it describes a love story or a life story, Trinh Cong Son revealed a private observation with this world and conveyed a message of every birth having its mission. Each tree, bird and flower has its own life with its own joy. When I learned about Buddhism and realised that everyone's life was limited, I found myself closer to Trinh Cong Son’s music. I think that we must keep the “original spirit” of Trinh Cong Son even when we refresh his songs. The physical movements and the mixture of many music genres with Trinh Cong Son’s music aims to enrich the works’ images and further clarify the space and meaning of the songs.

Q: Did you consider a lot before you began work on the Trinh Contemporary project?

A: I always thought that I would go slowly but surely. Meaning that I had to be careful and serious with my work, not indulging in temporary emotions. The deeper I went into Trinh Cong Son’s world, the more comfortable I felt, as if there was a special instruction. Therefore, everything became very light and familiar. The most important thing was that how to use my musical thought and character to spotlight the core spirit of Trinh Cong Son’s music.

Q: Some people said that your method of refreshing Trinh music has only attracted the attention of younger audiences but has not yet persuaded older audiences who have been listening Trinh Cong Son’s music with a simpler and more rustic way of singing for a long time. What do you think about this comment?

A: I once accepted invitations to sing Trinh Cong Son’s songs for middle-aged audiences at several enterprises and agencies. They quite like my singing style. Certainly, I selected the songs that were only moderately refreshed so that could be easily accepted by the older audiences. My parents, uncles, aunts and other old relatives also enjoyed my performances of Trinh music and said they were interesting. Therefore, I believe that I will gradually conquer the older audiences. Of course, this takes a long time because it is not easy for them to abandon listening habits that have been deeply ingrained in their minds. I think that if audiences can ignore the prejudices, they can experience newer things. If they just try to listen to my songs once, they will realise that I am trying to contribute to enriching and highlighting Trinh music’s values.

Q: The digital technology era is opening endless spaces for creators. Many young singers have become famous in the online music market because their products have attracted a large number of viewers, even though their music quality was not appreciated by experts. You have introduced your music products via online sites. In your opinion, how does the view count have significance to them?

A: In the “battle” for views among young artists today, the number of views is affected by many factors and it is no longer a fair assessment. Vietnam's digital music market has developed quickly and this "messy" period is an inevitable stage that it must go through, towards gradual stabilisation and professionalism, so that the artists will understand what to do. The term “music video” means that the “music” factor must be always put first. However, many music works on digital platforms take the “video” as the dominant factor. Many singers have focused on the images and the stories’ contents without paying attention to the quality of their voices and harmonies. They can attract many views, but they are not convincing.

I always determined that I would take a separate path. I do not try to scramble for views on online sites. My works will balance the artistry and market factor. I want to focus all my intellect on products that have certain artistic values. I am learning and pondering about how bring new values to audiences. That is an artists’ responsibility.

Q: Which new products will you introduce to audiences following the project on Trinh Cong Son’s music?

A: The albumTemporary Stay” is only the first stage of the Trinh Contemporary project, so there is still much work to be done. In the immediate future, I will continue to produce four music videos of Trinh Cong Son songs and hold a live show for the project. I want to combine Trinh Cong Son’s music with many other art forms. For me, Trinh’s music is a treasure in which that the deeper I explore, the more valuable the materials find.

My crew and I are also making several new products. They are songs that I created by myself. This is also a way for me to challenge myself after diving into the music world of Trinh Cong Son.

Thank you very much for your interview!