Experienced revolutionary singer still willing to reinvent himself
Singer Trọng Tấn is one of many remarkable revolutionary music artists. He opened the first season of Con đường am nhạc (The Road of Music), a television show honouring artists who have made a positive contribution to the national music industry. Minh Thu talks to Trọng Tấn about his experiences during his 20 years of working as a professional singer.
In just two hours, you performed 20 songs. Was it a panoramic view of your musical career?
It was like a slow-motion film about my life and career in both singing and teaching music. Through the songs, I recalled the hard days when I was young.
I never thought that I would be a singer. During my childhood, I always dreamt of being a soldier. I was born in a poor family, we often lacked food. So when I finished high school education, I tried to enter any university where students don’t have to pay but receive a stipend from the State. My parents couldn't afford to pay for my studies. University for soldiers is the top option but I didn’t meet the physical criteria. I wasn’t tall enough and was underweight due to the tough conditions of my family. So I took the entrance exam for the National Academy of Music. The only reason was that I could study for free.
How did you pass the exam without any musical experience?
My career can be called a tree of music. To make it grow up strong and bear fruits, my teachers helped cultivate it. I received valuable support from my teachers and seniors.
When I arrived in Ha Noi from my homeland, Thanh Hóa Province, I came to lecturer Minh Hue and asked her for help. She refused because there were only 10 days left to enter the exam and she thought that I should learn by myself. I obeyed and practised singing in another room. By chance, she heard my voice and agreed to help me. Surprisingly, I passed the exam with the highest score. For me, teacher Minh Hue is the one who laid the seed for my ‘tree of music’.
People’s Artist Trần Hiếu helped the tree grow strong and People’s Artist Trung Kien made it as beautiful as it is today.
You have trained many young talents including your son. In the Road of Music programme, audiences were amazed by the duet from you and your son Tấn Đạt. Will he follow in your footsteps to become a singer?
My son Tấn Đạt and my daughter Thảo Nguyen learned music when they were young. Both of them can play the piano. Nguyen especially shows talent in đan tranh (16-chord zither) while Đạt is good at playing the guitar.
I just discovered that Đạt can sing one year ago and have taught him since then. Now he’s 16 years old and learning to sing at the National Academy of Music. I feel proud of him. He’s more confident than me. At his age, I knew nothing about vocal music. I was shivering the first time I stood on the stage. He’s also luckier than me because he has good conditions to learn, he has me, a father and teacher. My wife, a lecturer at the National Academy of Music, also supports us. Thanks to her, we feel free to pursue our passion for music.
This was the first time you performed with Đạt on a big stage. The performance was impressive and enthralled those watching. Do you have plans to work with more young artists in the future?
I do. Actually, I worked with Oplus band who have a large number of young fans. I appreciate the fresh energy and creativity of young artists. I think viewers will love my new image, style and products. VNS