Words By: Matthew Griffiths
We often attach times to goals but it wasn’t until Thuy got rid of this ideology that she truly flourished.
Once Thuy accepted that she was 29 and stopped being insecure about it, things changed for her. It’s stories like hers that inspire other artists to keep going, even when they feel like giving up.
When the Vietnamese R&B singer-songwriter was growing up in the Bay Area, she didn’t see many who looked like her in the media, leading her to not even realise that music was a career option for her. Today, she has over 10 million streams on Spotify.
Her track, “111”, is one that she listens to herself when she’s feeling down. Its lyrics remind her of the positive can-do attitude to music that got her to where she is today, and help her during the moments she feels as if there’s a “stranger in my shoes”. Its production features a laid back beat with charming little acoustic guitar riffs, complemented by gentle warm pads for that “in the clouds” feel, reflecting her complicated mood.
“sometimes I feel like I can’t moveOpening lines of “111”
wake to a stranger in my shoes
I cried and prayed for life
dark clouds never bring more light”
Thuy’s vocals are sweet and smooth, yet with amazing power. Her tone reminds me (and others) of Ariana Grande, but her style is her own. On The Lunch Table Podcast, she talked about how some of her more recent songs had beats with a West Coast hip-hop vibe, so you wouldn’t expect an R&B singer on it, but then she sings over those beats with her angelic voice, which clearly sets her music apart from others.
Thuy is clearly very focused on how her listeners think and feel when they listen to her music. Alongside “111”, she also has a song called “in my bag”, which she explained (in the video description) is not meant in a braggadocious “look at my wealth” sort of way, but it rather reflects a mindset. My favourite perspective from Thuy comes from her new found perspective on her age. I love that Thuy was willing to confront the insecurity she had that only younger people could “make it”. Once she saw how many blessings she had in her life, she realised she should not give up on pursuing music, and once she became open and vulnerable about her age, she felt freer for it. Now she encourages others that if you want to have a career change later in life, it can happen.