Suboi interview on ATIME – a Russian magazine
Suboi interview on ATIME – a Russian magazine
ATIME: Were you surprised by attention from Russian hip-hop listeners? Tell me please how popular hip-hop is in Vietnam.
Suboi: Hip Hop in Vietnam is not as big as other countries but I think it is growing good, a lot of people are into it, many good rappers are coming up, hopefully one day there will be a Hip Hop radio in Vietnam.
ATIME: Does vietnamese rap have any features which are not typical for hip-hop in other cultures? Can you name some common topics used in song lyrics?
Suboi: Of course our culture is already different, we don’t have fancy cars and “twerkin hoes“ or blood and crib type of gangs. People just trying to express themselves in this conservative country. We can talk about whatever just not openly to the mass media. but one thing for sure that we won’t talk about politics. The common topics here mostly about love, and by this I don’t mean just men and women relationship, it’s about the life, family, passion, compassion … and the youth’s struggles.
ATIME: Can you name some Vietnamese rappers which are definetely worth listening to?
Suboi: It is the first Hip Hop generation like Khanh Nho and Thai Viet G. The contemporary artists are DSK, Krazinoyze or Wowy, Nah … Some upcoming artists like Datmaniac or Black Murda, I am hoping for the new generation who can actually continue those steps that were made by the older ones which was not easy at all.
ATIME: Probably it’s not easy being a girl-rapper because they are rarely taken seriously. It is still believed this music fits harsh guys, and girls have to perform something more feminine. Did you face any difficulties in terms of the perception of you as a serious rapper?
Suboi: My music is feminine though because it’s just what I write and do. I don’t believe that stereo type anymore but it does cause difficulties. Hip Hop is full of egos and everybody wants to be someone, more over there is a wall between Underground and Mainstream for me is a waste of time arguing about that. I have to be serious with myself first, and I hope the best for them who are still young and have a lot to see and learn.
ATIME: You began your career under the label Music Faces but in 2012 you decided to establish your own, Suboi Entertainment. Why did you decide to take this step? And tell me please, did that mean the need to start all over again?
Suboi: I don’t own any of the tracks that I wrote when I was in Music Faces, I don’t have the power to authorize and this is one reason for me to establish Suboi Entertainment. I don’t have to start all over again but I do have to start to really learn to protect my rights and go for the game.
ATIME: You collaborated with Ho Ngoc Ha, then took part in recording of the soundtrack for the movie “Scandal” with Trang Pháp. Can you share experience on co-working with these singers with us?
Suboi: It’s easy for me and I did it because I like these songs. I just don’t want to do too much pop collaboration because people are having this concept of “the rap part of this pop song” like the Korean industry, so I don’t want to confirm this idea. But overall these songs helped me to recognize how flexible I can be.
ATIME: Whom of the Western musicians you would like to write a joint track with?
Suboi: Kendrick Lamar! Haha, it doesn’t hurt to claim a little bit far. Or let’s say Mos Def or Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg. For women I’d love to learn from MC Lyte and for the hot rappers right now are Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, Angle Haze.
ATIME: Returning to the subject of film soundtracks, and more precisely, the particular movie. As far as I know, you took part in a horror movie “Hollow”. Tell us about your character and the film itself. Are you happy with your experience as an actress? Are there any roles that you’d like to try?
Suboi: I’m happy that they asked me to be a part of this movie since its an interesting story. I like my role, she is something I want to express without saying a word. It’s totally different from the music world and I got to experience a lot more and to challenge myself. I know how to ride both manual and motorboats now isn’t it cool! I’d love to try on anything that doesn’t have to cry a lot because I am over it now , I wanna be active and have fun.
ATIME: As far as I know, you’re in the process of recording your second album. What will it be like?
Suboi: I am done recording my album, besides the Run song it is pretty chill but grooving at the same time.
ATIME: I took a look on your Instagram. It seems you are now actively traveling. These are some business trips related to your creative work, aren’t they?
“The more I see the less I know”, it is very exciting and meaningful for me to travel. I love where I’m from but I have to leave home you know. I like to be independent and responsible in order to take care of my life, this leads me to think a lot about how to keep on moving and to motivate myself. I am also performing in the States soon this year so you can say it was a little bit of preparation.
ATIME: Would you like to visit Russia someday?
Suboi: Russia yes, of course! Privet! … Spasibo Russia! I hope to see you some day so we can jam!
ATIME: Thank you very much and have a good day!