The Making Of Mỹ Anh’s Debut Album ‘Em’ | Vietcetera
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Apr 11, 2024

The Making Of Mỹ Anh’s Debut Album ‘Em’

In an episode of the Have A Sip podcast, singer Mỹ Anh discusses the release of her debut album, marking a promising start for the Vietnamese music scene.
The Making Of Mỹ Anh’s Debut Album ‘Em’

Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Earlier this year, singer Mỹ Anh released her debut album, Em, after three years of preparation. The album received positive feedback from Joshua Minsoo Kim, editor of Pitchfork, who described it as the “first good Vietnamese pop album of the year.” It can be described as a notable opening following a year filled with impressive releases in the Vietnamese music market.

Mỹ Anh released the album Em on her 22nd birthday, commemorating three years of personal struggles. The nine songs within the album serve as confessions from both Mỹ Anh and Mỹ “Em” - her childhood self, reflecting the inner battles and relentless mental hurdles she faced as a young girl.

In this episode of the Have A Sip podcast, Mỹ Anh shared with host Thùy Minh about her family and the creative process behind her album Em. This prompts the question: What does the Em album tell us about Mỹ Anh?

Can’t Avoid It

Coming from a family with a rich musical background, Mỹ Anh initially didn’t anticipate following in her parents' footsteps. She harbored aspirations of pursuing different paths, perhaps becoming a photographer or a veterinarian. However, as the saying goes, “You can’t run away from the sun,” and music naturally found its way into her life, becoming an inherent part of her journey.

Originally, Mỹ Anh didn’t plan to share much but ended up opening up to host Thùy Minh during the interview, which she found enjoyable. | Source: Vietcetera

Following the creation of a video initially intended for a homework submission, which was produced on a modest budget of 1 million VND, many mistook it for Mỹ Anh’s debut music project. At the time, she admitted that she found the process enjoyable. And with that, Mỹ Anh’s journey to pursue her passion commenced.

Small Talk

The cover photo of the album Em features two images of Mỹ Anh, symbolizing “Em” and “Me” (the reverse of the word “Em”). While “Em” represents Mỹ Anh in the present, “Me” signifies her childhood self.

If “Em” is consistently preoccupied and prone to overthinking, often getting caught up in the rush of work, then “Me” serves as a reminder for “Em” to take a break: “Here, consider this: you’ve overlooked it for too long.”

Mỹ Anh and Mỹ Em in album Em | Source: Mỹ Anh

If “Em” consistently becomes frantic and restless, always rushing through tasks to return to work, fearing a lack of diligence, then “Me” remains calm and deliberate and attempts to guide “Em.” “Me” alerts “Em” to the chaos of their surroundings, where numerous voices clamor for attention. Instead, “Me” suggests finding a tranquil space to rest and regain focus.

Learn To Talk

Mỹ Anh revealed that she has always preferred working alone, partly due to her perfectionist nature and partly because she hesitates to seek help from others.

When receiving support, she gradually loses confidence and feels less independent. However, she opened up and collaborated with more people with the album Em. Though it remains challenging for her, she is determined to keep trying.


If every artist represents an island of their own, Mỹ Anh openly admitted that she occasionally observes neighboring islands to see what they are constructing and if they employ any unique strategies.

Despite occasional pressure from feeling that she was progressing slowly, Mỹ Anh still felt supported by everyone. She noticed that fellow artists’ works always possess distinct characteristics and personalities, which she sees as a sign of future growth and potential.

Here Now

This marks the final song on the album, representing Mỹ Anh’s desired conclusion. For her, balance defines success — the ability to listen to oneself while being open-hearted towards others.

Balance also entails acknowledging that alongside periods of overwhelming work, there will be moments for relaxation, perhaps through activities like knitting or scrolling on your phone. Such moments are necessary for calming down and introspecting to discover one’s desires.

She wishes to present a more outgoing side of herself this year and perform more in front of audiences. | Source: Vietcetera

Despite the ongoing struggle to find answers, as theory often diverges from practice, Mỹ Anh maintains her confidence. She acknowledges that having a starting point is crucial and accepts it as part of the process. She believes that ultimately, achieving a state of balance, which she considers success, is attainable.

Translated by Thúy An

Watch the full episode here