Archive for Musicians

Here’s a Nice Song That Viet Khang Wrote, Performed by Dan Truong

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 22, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang - Ban ThanImage via Dan Luan

The following is a song that Viet Khang wrote. It started making its rounds on the internet in early 2012, a short while after the musician’s arrest for writing his two groundbreaking and politically-driven songs, “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” and “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?” After some brief snooping however, it turns out that this song has been out since 2010, and is performed by a singer named Dan Truong. According to Youtube, in the video’s description, the song is performed by Dan Truong, and written by Viet Khang.

Along with the two famous tracks mentioned above, this single has also become quite popular among Viet Khang’s fans.

The song which I currently speak of is titled “Ban Than,” which means “Good Friend” in Vietnamese. It’s literally all about looking forward to hanging out with your friend, having coffee, and talking about life and other things. I personally enjoyed the song quite a bit, and feel that many of you will like it too. It’s nonpolitical, it’s slow, and it’s just really nice.

Hope you all liked it. I know I sure did.

Once again, welcome back, Brother Viet Khang.

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Viet Khang is Officially Home

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang ReturnsPhoto via Radio Free Asia

It’s official, folks. Viet Khang, the renowned musician and democracy activist, has returned home safely to his family.

In his interview with Radio Free Asia, the musician explains his long trip back home after being released from communist imprisonment. Being provided a group to drive him, Viet Khang did not arrive home until 3-4pm, having left at 7am earlier that morning. He cites the fact that his drivers, taking their sweet time, had to stop for food and refreshments and whatnot, while he was anxious to get home and did not eat at all.

From the same interview, the musician explains that he will be under house arrest for the next 2-3 years, that he is very grateful for all the love and support that he has received throughout this time, and, that he has no regrets for the things that he has done. He is a musician who speaks from his heart, and he is a man who loves his country.

Welcome home, Brother Viet Khang.

Listen to the whole interview at Radio Free Asia.

Musician and Human Rights Activist Viet Khang Released From Prison Yesterday

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet KhangPhoto via We Heart Music

Yesterday in Vietnam, Viet Khang, the musician and human rights activist who has been imprisoned by the Vietnamese communist government since late 2011 because of his music, was finally released after four years in jail.

Brother Viet Khang, as many of us like to call him, wrote two songs in 2011: “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?” and “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” Both of these tracks ask some serious questions about the Vietnamese Communist Party and their governance, namely, “why are you selling our nation to the Chinese?” and, “why are you suppressing and terrorizing our people for defending the country?”

As you may know, it is illegal to ask questions in Vietnam, especially if they bring up how stupid or cowardly the communist leadership is. And so, for his courage and the willingness to ask questions, Brother Viet Khang was arrested and sentenced to four years in jail.

Vietnam. Where asking a simple question such as, “why don’t we just defend our country?” can get you sentenced to four years in prison. But, I digress.

As of yesterday, December 14, 2015, it is reported that Viet Khang has finally been released from captivity. According to SBS, Viet Khang’s mother is awaiting his return home. There is not yet news of his safe arrival at this time of writing.

Let us all pray for Viet Khang and his family, and hope that the brave musician returns home to his family soon, if he is not home already.

A Commemoration of Viet Dzung: The Icon, The Activist, The Leader

Posted in Democracy Activists, Inspirational People, IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on December 30, 2013 by Ian Pham

Viet DzungI know I won’t be able to do justice for the memory of Viet Dzung in just one blog article. He has done so much for the Vietnamese community, both abroad and domestically, that it would be impossible to capture the man’s greatness with so few words. Not only was Viet Dzung a philanthropist, he was also a leader of his community, and an entertainment icon beloved by almost all members of the Vietnamese community overseas.

The late musician was born in Saigon on September 8, 1958, when the Vietnam War was heating up. He came of age throughout this time period. By the time he was a young man, Viet Dzung left Vietnam following the Communist takeover, arriving in the United States in 1976.

During his time in America, Viet Dzung utilized his talents as a singer and songwriter, composing songs about his love for Vietnam and his longing for the country’s freedom. The young musician wrote music in both Vietnamese and English, and was interestingly good at writing country songs.

Viet Dzung StageIn the 1990’s, Viet Dzung gained popularity through his programs on Little Saigon Radio, and subsequently Radio Bolsa as well. Concurrently, Viet Dzung became the host of Truc Ho’s Asia Music program, making him a sensation among Vietnamese listeners and viewers. Viet Dzung’s prominence in the entertainment business has made him a Vietnamese icon.

Viet Dzung flourished in the entertainment business, but that is not the main reason he is so loved by everyone. The boundless admiration and respect that Viet Dzung commands stem from his selflessness, his devotion, and ingenuity as a leader of the Vietnamese community.

Mr. Dzung was very active in his community, volunteering in charity events, organizing many of his own, and teaching as a guest speaker at many local schools and youth shelters. He was also a prominent catalyst for the struggle for human rights. Viet Dzung played a key role in organizing many protests and awareness campaigns against the Communist Party. Moreover, Viet Dzung’s charisma and communication skills helped gain the attention of many politicians and business leaders in the U.S.

As a close friend and ally of Mr. Truc Ho, Viet Dzung played a prominent role with Truc Ho in planning and executing the countless human rights campaigns that we have witnessed over the past decade, but especially in just the last few years. Viet Dzung is a staple leader of the SBTN television Network, and has been a mentor to so many young professionals and emerging leaders throughout his lifetime.

Viet Dzung, 1958-2013It is for this reason, his willingness to give, and give, and give, all without asking for anything in return, that has gained him the love and admiration of so many Vietnamese overseas. It is for this reason that his death, two Fridays ago, on December 20, 2013, at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, sent shockwaves throughout Vietnamese communities in the Western Hemisphere.

Viet Dzung was only 55 years old when he passed away. The cause of his death was a longtime heart ailment that finally overtook him. I think it is safe to say that with the loss of Mr. Viet Dzung, the people of Vietnam, overseas and within have just lost a great man. He gave us so much and changed the landscape so profoundly that it is still unclear the extent of his legacy. Thus, we must bid a warm and tearful farewell to one of the greatest examples of Vietnamese resilience and compassion. Bless his wonderful spirit.

The Songs of Freedom

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by Ian Pham

Alright everyone, here are four songs that I am making downloadable on this website, just for you.  Two of the songs are from brother Viet Khang, the heroic prisoner of freedom, justice, and human rights.  The next two tracks are from Mr. Truc Ho, the great crusader, who has fought tirelessly to raise the human rights issue, and mobilize us Vietnamese across the seas.  Both of these men are great musicians, composing  extremely powerful songs that have left the Communists shaking in their little boots.

The list presented below includes Truc Ho’s popular song, “Dap Loi Song Nui,” which translates to “Answering the Call of the Mountains and Rivers.”  This song was composed earlier in 2008, though I have yet had the opportunity to share it with you.  Any fans of Truc Ho surely know about this song already.  However, if you have not listened to it yet, now is as good a time as any.

tran-thi-hai

The Songs of Freedom:

Viet Khang – Viet Nam Toi Dau?

Viet Khang – Anh La Ai?

Truc Ho – Trieu Con Tim

Truc Ho – Dap Loi Song Nui

To download the songs above, simply right click on each file, then choose the “save link as” option on your computer.  The next step is self explanatory: click save,” or download,” whatever it is that comes up at this point.  These steps apply both to Macs and PCs, as the process and results will be exactly the same.  To my users outside of North America, Vietnam especially, choose the corresponding options in your language and you too should receive the songs.

From here, do as you please with the music.  Listen to it, enjoy it, and share it with the world.  To my people in Vietnam who are able to access this blog, here is your chance to acquire what your government has been trying so hard to shield from you all this time.  Take this music, spread it as far and wide as you can, by whatever means at your disposal.  This is only a small step, but it’s a small step forward.  The world is with you, may you never give up.

Million Hearts, One Voice: Truc Ho’s Human Rights Campaign

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Ian Pham

For the past couple months, Mr. Truc Ho has been conducting yet another brilliant campaign for human rights in Vietnam.  This most recent campaign is called “Million Hearts, One Voice,” and has caused quite a headache for the Communist leadership in Hanoi.  Not only did Truc Ho present a petition with over 135,000 signatures to both American and U.N leaders about Vietnam’s human rights issue, he also crafted a beautiful new song to support his campaign.

One of the flagships of Truc Ho’s campaign, next to his petition, is his newly composed song, “Trieu Con Tim,” or “A Million Hearts.”  Trieu Con Tim is a finely crafted song that vividly describes the countless abuses and failures of the Communist Party in Vietnam.  Their pathetic display on the world stage, especially their kowtowing to Beijing and the CCP, as well as their pathetic displays at home brought to light.

The song mentions some specific cases that happened recently in Vietnam.  One such case is the self-immolation of a mother in protest of the Hanoi government.  As a blogger, her daughter was detained as result of her courage to criticize the party.  Other cases, such as the government’s seizing of a citizen’s property, and the losing of Paracel and Spratly are also mentioned.  These stories will be mentioned in more detail in future posts.

This campaign has made a huge impact America’s new foreign policy towards Vietnam.  The Obama Administration’s Vietnam policy has shifted dramatically, and relations between the two nations have begun to deteriorate.  The U.S. has become fed up with the lack of progress on Vietnam’s human rights situation.  Therefore, they no longer seek to strengthen relations with the Communist Vietnamese.  This recent development will too be covered in a follow-up article.

For now, if you haven’t already, give this song a listen, enjoy it, and think about the message that it is delivering.  In the near future, I will write an article that gives everyone an opportunity to download the music of Truc Ho, as well as the music of Viet Khang.  This will make it possible for anyone who has access to this blog, whether inside or outside of Vietnam, to download the music and circulate it where ever they feel necessary.  Until then, hang tight, my fellows, and stock up on some blank CD’s.

The Trial of Viet Khang

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by Ian Pham

I’ve got a small shred of good news about the whereabouts of Viet Khang, followed by a heavy dose of bad news.  The good news, Viet Khang is still alive.  The bad news, that’s about all we know of him.  Ever since his arrest earlier this year, Viet Khang has been in the custody of the Communist Party police for his criticism of the Communist Party through song.  There is no doubt that he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment for having the courage to shame the Communists for the Chinese sheep-dogs they really are.  In the coming days, the Party will put him on “trial”, so obviously, justice will not be served.

The outcome of the trial is as predictable as a sliced bread.  The judges, juries, and executioners will all be members of the Communist Party, the heroic Viet Khang will not get a chance to defend himself, and then the Communists will pretend that the “verdict” came from processes of deliberation and debate.  The trial is all a load of bull, we will all see right through it, but the Communists will still insist that the trial was fair.  The question is not whether he will get sentenced or not, but how long and severe the punishment will be.  The Communists are no strangers to incarceration, torture, and execution, all are possibilities in the case of Viet Khang.  This is actually the troubling part for those of us watching form the outside.

If the Communists are smart, which they aren’t really, they will sentence Viet Khang to a few short years in jail, this is the best case scenario.  If the Communists are stupid, which they are, they will sentence Viet Khang to over a decade in prison, exile him, or even sentence him to death.  They probably won’t be so stupid to publicly declare his death sentence, as it could cause public outrage, backfire, and even spark social unrest, but at the same time, they’re Communists, they’re stupid.

Given the magnitude of Viet Khang’s actions, it is most likely that he will be receiving a long jail sentence lasting for a decade or more.  Viet Khang is internationally famous among the Vietnamese community for writing two songs, “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?”, tackling the topic of Vietnamese police brutality, corruption, and cowardice, and “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where’s My Vietnam)?” shaming the Vietnamese Communist Party for selling out the country to the Chinese and devastating Vietnam with their greed and corruption.

From the outside, it may look like there is nothing we can do to help Viet Khang.  In the physical, this may be true, but morally, spiritually, and especially politically, there are many things we can do.  Morally, just support Viet Khang’s cause, and believe that everything he’s done up to now has not been in vain.  Spiritually, pray for Viet Khang, send your thoughts out to him, and do not lose hope.  Politically, support Viet Khang, spread the word of his music, and make sure that everyone from this generation onward knows of his courage, strength, and his selfless acts.  Also, make sure to support Truc Ho and his tireless efforts to bring democracy and human rights to Vietnam.

Musical producer and political activist Truc Ho has been fighting endlessly to create awareness for Viet Khang’s cause.  Mr. Truc has been, and continues to lobby U.S. politicians, as well as the international community at large, on behalf of human rights in Vietnam.  He has also fought to bring awareness and international support for Viet Khang’s cause.  Needless to say, he’s done more than a fair bit to help the democracy and human rights movement in Vietnam.

Not everyone can do what Truc Ho has done, but everyone can do something to help the cause.  I myself can write, therefore I write on this blog to spread the word about Vietnam’s situation and what we can do to help.  Truc Ho has his many contacts, his music company, and his new television network to create awareness on a massive scale.  We all have many unique skills that can help the cause.  We live all over the world, and we all work in different places.  However, we all believe that Vietnam deserves freedom, and that Viet Khang too deserves his freedom.  For now, we wait, we hope, and we pray.  Tomorrow, we will be the change.