It was inevitable that one day Asia would emerge as a genuine global force in music. After gently introducing the notion with artists like Yoshiki and The Boredoms, it felt likely that at some point Japan would take the initiative but of course we now know that Korea was the sleeping giant with K-Pop taking up prime display space in HMV and artists selling genuinely staggering numbers. But as you might expect, artists from around the region have taken this as their cue to mobilise, as is the case with Vietnam-based, Kiey, an artist hampered by the fact that his homeland does not wildly encourage the performance and even broadcast of Western music.
The disapproval of Western music by Vietnam authorities is ironically somewhat responsible for the fact Kiey is making the music evidenced on his album, Night to Myself. Moving to the heart of London as a student, he found himself living just around the corner from Piccadilly Circus. Able to access pop and electro music 24/7 as well as gaining easy access to the equipment to make his own fledgling recordings, he returned to Ho Chi Minh City equipped to finally bring to life his own interpretations of the sounds he had fallen in love with.
Led by the obvious nods to these times, Piccadilly, Night to Myself is an endearing listen – innocent and uplifting yet with atmospherics which give the heart of his songs some real character. Certainly worth checking out.