An Interview
With
Truc Linh & Truc Lam
In our continued effort to stay in touch and up-to-date with the Vietnamese Entertainment industry abroad, Vietscape has attempted to communicate with various artists to seek their contribution to our Singer Biographies section. To this end, we were able to contact and received correspondence from several newcomers to the industry. Followers of the Thuy Nga's Paris by Night series will undoubtedly noticed the recent appearance of the singing duo, Truc Linh and Truc Lam. This sister's act was gracious and open enough to allow us to probe a little bit into their world as up and coming talents. As always, we tried to present the true voice of the individual singers and maintain as much authenticity in their comments as possible. The following is a translation from vietnamese of responses given to us by Truc Linh and Truc Lam.

Vietscape: What is your real name, and under what circumstances did you choose your stage name?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Our real names are, Nguye^~n Thi. My~-Linh and Nguye^~n Thi. My~ Lam. We chose Truc Linh and Truc Lam because My~ Linh was already taken by another singer from Van son Productions and My~ Lam was just too close to My~ Lan of Nhat Truong Productions.

Vietscape: When and where were you born?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Truc Linh was born on June 16, 1973 and Truc Lam was born on April 30, 1975.Truc Linh was born in Tam Ky Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Truc Linh was born in Saigon, Vietnam. We both grew up in Tam Ky Quang Nam, Da Nang, but our family moved Dong Nai to live in 1985. We attended Thong Nhat B high school in Gia Kiem Dong Nai.

Vietscape: When did you come to the United States?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We came to the United States on June 4, 1995 and the first city that we lived in was Greenville South Carolina. This is also where we currently live.

Vietscape: Besides the two of you, are there any one else in your family that are also musically inclined?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Our father and older sister are also into music. Our father is Mr. Nguye^~n Xua^n Tu`ng. Prior to 1975, he used to produce variety shows for Truong Son Productions in Saigon. His collaborators at the time were well known artists such as Duy Khanh, Tham Thuy Hang, Che Linh, etc.. Consequently, our father knew almost all of the artists from that era. Our oldest sister, Nguye^~n thi. My~ Ha.nh is a pianist and a principal singer for a local Baptist church. She usually sings gospel music and does not perform pop music like us.

Vietscape: When and where was the first time you performed in public?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We first performed in public in 1992 for a television program in Saigon.

Vietscape: Did you have any formal training in music?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We learned music in kindergarten, and studied under a music teacher since grade school. It was during this time that we became the lead singers for our school. We also became principal singers for the radio station in our hometown of Tam Ky. We remembered entering a singing contest called "Tie^'ng Ha't Phu+o+.ng DDo?" every summer in Da Nang and at the national level in Ha Noi. Our family has been very supportive of our involvement in music since we were young. We can remember in the early years, when we were children, after 1975, our father purchased a set of drums, a piano, a violin, and a sound system...well, things were tough financially in those years, but we guess our father still had some entertainment blood left in him...hi, hi...Every evening, our father made everybody in the family be the audience while we performed. At the time, Truc Lam played the drums (she was learning how to play) while Truc Linh had to sing because there was no one else wanted to sing. To tell the truth, when we were younger, we wanted go play the most. At the time, singing was "torture" to us and it seems Truc Linh had to sing most often. We remembered being spanked for not wanting to sing and play the drums. It was because of this discipline that we are where we are today. We owe everything to our parents and we can't thank them enough for their support and guidance.

Vietscape: When did you began to sing professionally?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We began singing "professionally" after winning a singing contest in Saigon in 1992...a year after Nhu Quynh took the prize in 1991. We were paid for singing at various night clubs and venues throughout Saigon.

Vietscape: What kind of music do you like to perform most and why?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We often like to sing songs made famous by such artist as Madona (although we try to be less risque). We also like the Spice Girls for their youthful appeal. We believe that life brings to us a lot of stress, so we feel that, if we are able to bring a moment of fun and relaxation to the audience, we would have accomplished our goals.

Vietscape: What is your source of inspiration?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: When we perform a song, we draw energy from it and we try to bring some soul into the music. When we perform in front of an audience, feedback from the spectators can inspire us to greater levels of performance. Naturally, when we were not well received, i.e. the audience does not clap, our performance is effected as well.

Vietscape: Can you share with us your most memorable performance?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Well...that would have to be our performance in Vung Tau Vietnam. It was during one of the hottest season in Vietnam and we were performing to a young audience. We have sung several songs and wanted to take a break when the audience demanded an encore. Many people threw their shirts onto the stage with many other screaming and demanding for more. Due to the heat, we were also sweating profusely and our clothes were soaking wet. After the performance, all we wanted was to lay down to rest, but several young men went back stage demanding our autographs. They even took off their shirts so we can sign their chests (by their hearts) and on their backs. There were so many people rushing backstage that the security personnel had to push everybody back and escorted us out. We were very scared.

Vietscape: What about here in the US, do you have any memorable moments?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Although we have only been here a short time, our most memorable experience was in Houston and Dallas Texas where we were greeted with a lot of intensity and energy.

Vietscape: Getting back to musical backgrounds...do you play any musical instruments?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: As we mentioned, we both play the drums, and the guitar, however, we don't play very well since we did not learn to play these instruments for very long.

Vietscape: Besides music, are you well versed in any other art forms?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We dabble a little in theater art. While in high school, we performed in some of the school's play. Most of the skits are comical though. Our love is still singing and dancing.

Vietscape: If your fans wanted to contact you, how can they reach you?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Well, they can always go back stage after our performances. One of the most asked questions of us are whether we are twins, who is older, and who taught us how to dance.

Vietscape: What about the internet? Do you have an email address?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: We are not using the internet at the moment. However, we would be glad to answer our mail. We can be reached at: 19 Berea Lane, Greenville, SC 29617. We hope to hear from all our fans and to hear their comments.

Vietscape: What do you do on your spare time?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: On days when we don't have to travel, we often exercise every morning. We like to cook, bake (our favorite thing to do)... beside these things, Truc Linh loves to watch basketball and Truc Lam likes to bowl.

Vietscape: What's your favorite food?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: When you talk about food, it's difficult to say because we like everything...but, Truc Lam seems to favor fruits and vegetables and well...let us get you in on a secret...Truc lam loves to eat rice with Ma('m. As far as drinks are concern, we like grapefruit juice, orange juice (fresh squeezed), or water. What do you think? are we easy to care for?

Vietscape: What are your plans in next 6 months?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: As far as CDs, this is up to Thuy Nga Productions' time line...if the audience supports us, we suppose the CD will be out soon. We will also be filming for the next video, and travel to various shows and engagements. In June we will be in Atlantic City and Atlanta. In July, we'll be filming a video with Thuy Nga, and we'll travel to San Jose and Orlando. In August and September, we have a couple of dates in Atlanta and Atlantic City. In October, we'll go to Australia and in November and December we're back in the states filming for Thuy Nga, and traveling to Boston, Washington DC, Dallas, and Canada.

Vietscape: What are your hopes?
Truc Linh & Truc Lam: Our hopes and dreams are to be able to continue singing and performing for the audience. We will continue to learn and practice our craft to raise our performance level to remain secure in our career. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans and the audience for their continued support although we just joined the Vietnamese Entertainment circle. We hope the audience continue to love us, as we have loved the audience.

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