“She's been called the Lady Gaga of Vietnam, but Mai Khoi arguably has less in common with Gaga than the Russian activist group, Pussy Riot.”
— ABC News
Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese pop star, singer and musician. She has been playing music since she was 12 when she was the pianist in a wedding band with her father, a music teacher, in the coastal city of Nha Trang. Drawing on a wide variety of influences, from traditional Vietnamese folk to blues, soul and rock, Mai Khoi seamlessly blends disparate styles and rhythms. Her music is also distinct in terms of its emotional range, her wide vocal register as well as the distinct tonal qualities of her voice.
In 2010, Mai Khoi won Vietnam Television Song and Album of the Year Award, the highest award for song writing in the country. After winning the award, she shaved half of her hair off and inscribed the letters 'VN' for 'Vietnam', the name of the song that won the competition, on one side of her head. For this she was harshly criticised by the country's conservative media establishment. No stranger to controversy, Mai Khoi is somewhat of an anomaly for a celebrity in a Communist country like Vietnam for having spoken out about sexuality, LGBT rights and violence against women.
Mai Khoi broke international headlines in 2016 after she became the first Vietnamese celebrity in history to nominate herself for the National Assembly (equivalent to congress) on a pro-democracy platform.
Mai Khoi Chem Gio - Dissent
Live at Phù sa Lab
Release - 03/03/2018
Mai Khoi Chem Gio:
Mai Khoi: singer, guitar, goong
Quyen Thien Dac: saxophones
Nguyen Duc Minh: traditonal flute, percussion
“This album was recorded live between 2016 and 2017 during secret performances at Phusa Lab. The resulting work bears the euphoria, courage, failures and threats which characterized this time. As such, it forms the soundtrack to an awakening, replete with heroes, villains, reversals and uneasy resolutions. And it is this awakening, now, that we continue to awaken from." Mai Khoi, 10 February 2018, Hanoi