"I do think that creating is indeed a way to escape the hardship of our lives. But escape doesn’t necessarily mean forgetfulness or oblivion."
With ears comfortable to the sounds of the hums of quê hương, or quê nhà, my parents listened to an evoked past that reverberated well into the present. Yet these very sounds, as beautiful and tragically poignant as they are, sometimes suffocated me at night in our familiar home.
Rocky’s music is a journey into the spirit of resistance in the form of loud bass, energetic anthems, and subversive takedowns of the status quo.
Nhạc vàng songs are like ghosts living in and out of diaspora, trailing behind Vietnamese veterans, rewinding themselves, back to their country and the struggles of living through destitution and ideological polarization. The political and historical erasures that were never archived in print media were/are re/recorded and re/produced as songs. […]
A review of Mai Khoi & The Dissidents' music performance, by Monique Truong: "Throughout the band’s eleven-song set list, Mai Khoi’s lyrics declared, boldly and without a doubt—they were literally the writing on the wall—that she’s a citizen of a country that systematically controls and silences the free expression of its populace…"