Lose To Win: Quang Vinh On Leaving His Grief Behind And Starting From The Ground Up | Vietcetera
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Lose To Win: Quang Vinh On Leaving His Grief Behind And Starting From The Ground Up

What did Quang Vinh, the Prince of Music, leave behind on the way to becoming the Prince of Travel?

Lose To Win: Quang Vinh On Leaving His Grief Behind And Starting From The Ground Up

Source: Tin Phung for Vietcetera

Lose To Win is a series of inspiring success stories that arose from life-changing sacrifices.

Nearly 20 years have passed since the debut of Mien Cat Trang, Quang Vinh’s hit song. The Prince of Music is still singing, but he has harnessed a new passion — becoming a travel vlogger.

Between 2017 and 2020, Quang Vinh Passport and Quang Vinh Travelling in Vietnam have brought Quang Vinh's YouTube channel more than 500,000 views.

We met Quang Vinh on a sunny afternoon (before the social distancing restrictions were implemented) to explore his journey from being a singer to being a "full-time traveller", and what he has “lost” in order to “win”.

What was the best thing about becoming a travel vlogger?

The first thing is satisfying my urge and passion to travel. As a travel vlogger, I will only consider stopping once my passion has died out.

The second thing is seeing your influence. A while ago I reviewed a villa; afterwards, every time that same villa is booked, people call it the “Quang Vinh villa”. A friend also told me that their mother loves to travel, but her health is not good, so they choose to travel with her through the videos I make.

What are some rules that every travel vlogger must abide by?

For me, it's not telling bad stories. When you’re working in media and have a lot of data on hand, anyone would know of at least one bad story that would bring in the most views. I understand that making videos gain views is not a difficult task to achieve: just mention something bad or criticise something that happened, and the numbers will skyrocket.

But anyone who travels knows that no trip is perfect. But for me, I want to tell the most optimistic and beautiful story.

I also invest a lot into crafting my image (the debut video of Quang Vinh Passport cost almost 1 billion Vietnamese dong), and I want my content to be geared towards positivity. That’s my choice.

From being the Prince of Music to The Prince of Travel, what did you give up?

In 2013, a lot of things happened to me: my family went bankrupt, my parents divorced, my nanny died, and the dog I loved dearly also passed away.

I had to put my sadness aside in order to start all over again from scratch. I quit singing to take on many jobs after that and did whatever paid the bills. From working in marketing, being an office worker, opening a clothing shop, to working as a "merchant" ... I kept giving up one job to try something new.

Having to give up so many things, what is something you’ve realized?

A lot of things. Constantly quitting my job made me realize that no matter what, I could never quit singing. Working a lot also helped me discover a new passion, which is travel. That is the reason for the birth of my own travel YouTube channel.

That day, I found myself reading Nguyen Phong's book (Journey to the East, Wisdom in Life...) which made me realize that I still had my sister by my side, and that all my hardships have turned into lessons learned - no matter how difficult they were. Now that I think about it, even the fact that I persisted through the tragedies of 2013 is already a miracle in itself. I’ve given up so many things, but I’ve learnt to never give up on myself.

titlequotIm just happy that I survived through all the hardshipsquot  Source Tin Phung for Vietcetera quotIm just happy that I survived through all the hardshipsquot  Source Tin Phung for Vietcetera
"I'm just happy that I survived... through all the hardships" | Source: Tin Phung for Vietcetera

Everyone looks at you and they see a symbol of optimism. Are there times when you reflect on the past and think of the ‘what ifs’?

That year, when my nanny died, I truly regret that I didn’t have the time to somehow repay her kindness and the comforting love she’s given me.

When I was a child, I used to think shallowly that the nanny was just someone who worked for the family, but I didn't think that they took care of me through every stage of life. If I could go back, I wish I had spent more time with her. But I often regret things when it's too late.

Oh, I also wish I had exercised more. As you age, you realize how important health is. Plus, I wish I’d studied the piano more. Sometimes I also want to compose songs by myself, but… I guess you win some and you lose some.

A fun question: Going back to your journey with singing, what are your favourite songs?

Just between us, people tend to associate me with the song Mien Cat Trang, but I don’t really like it (laughs)! I love Diu Dang Den Tung Phut Giay, Dieu Buon Tenh, and more recently, Lanh Tu Trong Tim.

After 20 years in the field, what is the main difference between ‘singer-songwriter Quang Vinh’ today and in the past?

As a child, I had a real obsession with singing. I learned to sing from a young age; so every time there is a performance or concert of some sort, the name Quang Vinh is always called out by the MC. But there were times where I didn’t know if I wanted to sing for a livelihood.

But now that I’ve matured, I am so grateful for my singing journey. My reputation has allowed for my travel experiences to be even better as I’ve met people who showed me kindness and generosity.

I could never give up music, not with the expectation that I would be even more popular than I was before since I understand how difficult the industry is currently. I just know that an entire generation grew up with me, listened to my music, and still recognizes me after all these years.

I started being a singer. So my path is to continue to create new music.

titlequotI started being a singer So my path is to continue to create new musicquot  Source Tin Phung for Vietcetera quotI started being a singer So my path is to continue to create new musicquot  Source Tin Phung for Vietcetera
"I started being a singer. So my path is to continue to create new music." | Source: Tin Phung for Vietcetera

When you were a singer, and even now as a travel vlogger, is there one ultimate goal that you set for yourself?

I actually have been privately working at the recording studio in preparation for a vlogging project I’ve nurtured for a long time.

I’ve experimented with many things, from travel vlogging with an entire crew, or just with two people (the cameraman and myself). But I always have this mindset that I must constantly have a new plan or goal to follow and achieve. This is because I believe that when the day comes that I’ve reached the top, I must not give up or slow down simply because I’m already there.

I must always keep dreaming, in order to keep going.

(See more of our conversation with Quang Vinh here)

Translated by Dieu Linh