HÃ ng LÃ¢m Trang Anh (born 1990), better known as Suboi, is a Vietnamese rapper. The name “Suboi” was derived from her nickname at home (Su) and how her elementary school friends had known her for her tomboyish personality. She was born and raised in Saigon. Although she began to study grammar in school at the 11th grade, she was able to learn English as a second language from listening to music and watching movies. Suboi is one hot artist on the rise from Vietnam. Check out her interview!
Exclusive Jackfroot Interview with Suboi
When did you first start writing rhymes and what inspired you to do it?
I started writing my first song when I was 15. When i was younger I was interested in writing poems, but the style wasn’t like what I learned in school. It was free-verse. Then I listened to the first Vietnamese rap song from Vietkieu people (VNese that lives oversea) but that time it was said to be some kinda rebel music. I was pretty interested in it though. I listened to Linkin Park and saw Mike doing the rap thing, even though it’s a rock band. Its nu-metal so i was like yeah I can do that, then I decided to write something after I saw Will Smith on TV. I still remember the song was “Not ya head”.
Being a young female rapper, how has the public’s response to your music been?
There are many comments back and forth. Some think that just because I’m a female it allows me to get attention easier, but some say they do enjoy my music and support me so I’m happy about it. In the end, there are a lot of debates.
Are there any recording artist’s that you would like to work with in the future?
There are so many, VNese and artists from other countries. I love how people see and make things differently and not only from hip hop artists, but it can also be bossa nova, soul, dubstep, reggea artists. If talking about producing, composing music I would love to learn from Pharell Williams, Drake and Nneka.
Who are some people that have inspired you in life and music?
It can be anybody, everyone i know or have seen. I think everybody’s been teaching me a lot. My dad has been teaching me a lot, even though I don’t follow everything but i get the clues from them. Like basic thoughts, then i mix them up with things I’ve been through and things I’m aiming to do.
Do you have any other hobbies besides music?
I used to skateboard, but now i think it’s more about taking photos.
What are two things you cannot live without?
Food haha. And anything that can play music.
What is a struggle or obstacle that youâ€™ve had to overcome so far in your career?
For me it is struggling with myself, about having a lot of emotions and to balance what i love to do and what i need to do. Myself, music and money. I did want to quit at one point to find extra work and jobs, because hip hop in Vietnam is still small and not really making money. But knowing that it’s always hard at first, now i believe that maybe someone like me can change if i keep on doing it. Of course I’m struggling for money, but i keep on trying, because what i really need to focus and work extra on is this – the thing I’m doing.
What are some tools or technology you utilize that helped you get to where you are today?
Any pens, internet and my voice memo recording.
If you werenâ€™t doing music, what do you picture yourself doing?
Right now I’m producing the second album and a mixtape. And … I’m not sure what am I’d be doing if I wasn’t making music, but maybe hustling with photography? Haha.
Are there any tips or suggestions you can give to some artists that want to come up and succeed in the music business?
This may sound cliche but it’s true everything you do has to have passion in it. You can be starving but then you’ll know how to deal with it without losing your perspective about making money and your way of living. No laziness. There’s still a long way to go.