Many celebrities, singers, actors, beauty pageant winners, and TV hosts go to Nguyen Ba Phu Quy when they need a music producer, vocal producer, or a vocal coach. He has worked with Ho Ngoc Ha, Nguyen Ha, Chipu, Dat G, rapper Osad, comedian Nam Thu, and actress Truc Anh.
His students are not only experienced singers but also trainees from entertainment companies like 6th Sense Entertainment and anyone who needs preparation for the entrance exam to music academies.
His experiences in the music industry as a vocal coach have equipped Phu Quy with a practical and multifaceted perspective in this career in Vietnam. Nguyen Ba Phu Quy reveals to Vietcetera the stories of ‘vocal training’ and how to be a modern-day singer.
Choose wisely who you want to learn from...
Here are some helpful notes you should keep in mind to make the right decision for yourself.
A singing teacher will improve your voice with techniques. If your dream is to get into a music academy or to be a professional singer, you come to the right place.
A vocal coach could not only give you a vocal lesson but also shape your own singing style. They act as a liaison between singers/trainees with composers, music producers, and concert promoters.
A vocal producer is the one assisting the artists during the recording of a whole project or just a particular song. World-class divas such as Whitney Houston and Celine Dion also have their vocal producers support them during the recording process.
Music talent is something you’re born with…
Therefore, don’t put so much hope on ‘extra points’ or luck.
When he was a lecturer at Ho Chi Minh City College of Culture and Arts, Nguyen Ba Phu Quy was against the idea of giving “region priority scores” – extra points for students from rural or disadvantaged areas – for vocal candidates in the entrance exam. He also utterly refused to train those without natural talent.
A good vocal coach could change an awful singer/trainee for the better in a particular genre. But this is not the ‘lucky charm’ that can keep you thriving in the long run in this industry.
You have to be clear that music requires natural abilities. Your talents could lie in your singing, aural skills, musical mindsets, and aesthetics. If you don’t possess any of these abilities, your chance to have a dream come true is hardly possible.
Learning to listen before learning to sing...
Elements such as ear training, a good mindset, and aesthetics are sometimes even more important than a beautiful voice.
In music, there are two types of successful figures: good singers with beautiful voices and good singers with excellent vocal techniques. You could be blessed with an exceptional voice, but that isn’t enough to make you stand out in this highly competitive industry without strenuous practice.
Only with consistent training and improvement in musical mindset could Ho Ngoc Ha achieve such enormous success. Being called “a beauty that can sing” when first setting foot in the field, she is now appreciated for her singing and unique style. With genuine confidence, she has shared her on-stage experience with the younger generation.
Purpose and aim are two different things…
Therefore, you should distinguish clearly between them to avoid ‘illusions’ in your pursuit of a singing career.
A purpose is a reason for your doing – ‘Why do you want to sing?’ Answering this question would give you more resilience to follow this path. MC Tran Thanh didn’t learn to sing to become an excellent singer, but rather to be better at singing than other MCs. Actress Truc Anh takes vocal lessons because her character in ‘Thien than ho menh’ (The Guardian) is a good singer.
Your aim is the measurement of your purpose. You have to set short- and long-term aims on your career path. A short-term aim could be to get better at singing or to study thoroughly various music genres. Your long-term aim could be to shape your whole career. Don’t set an out-of-your-league goal if you know you could never fulfill it.
Do not give up along the way...
The important question here is what you want to achieve in this industry.
You should identify your way to win audiences’ hearts, whether as a vocalist or a performer. The modern music industry favors multi-talented artists who are the whole package of composing, dancing, and singing. In fact, there are many artists who could do a lot of things but not really stand out in any field.
Singing is a harsh field in which you have to accept the reality of your genuine ability, along with resilience and faith in your vocal coach and the team you want to collaborate with. Work with the best team to make sure you are not wasting your time.
To thrive in the long run in this industry, keep an open mind and be creative, take risks, and dream big.
Translated by Bich Tram