Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Music Gets Minh Off the Streets and into World Tour


In a crowded tavern, a man sits at a piano crooning Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” The man’s appearance does not match his soulful cadence, but the atmosphere indicates that the crowd approves of his performance.

Who is this man? He goes by Minh.

From his involvement in a black gang when he was 14 to his current preparations to join the band Jodeci on its reunion tour, Minh’s life has been an eventful journey. Because of his father, a songwriter and a member of the Vietnamese opera, Minh started writing songs at the young age of 13.  After that, his teacher’s support enabled him to turn poetry into a song that was performed at a middle school concert.

Later, although Minh’s parents urged him to get a college degree, Minh decided to follow his dreams and pursue a music career. He describes music as his “deepest passion.” After creating his first album, the self-taught producer started promoting himself by guessing the email addresses of top music executives. His second album caught him real attention in the industry, and just a year and a half after its release, his success has increased exponentially.

His music is “a blend of soul, pop, rock and electronic,” an unexpected combination of sounds that Minh says comes from his love of all music, especially soul. This fondness for soul is a byproduct of the time he spent singing in a gospel choir, a group he joined in an effort to remove himself from gang life.

After saving himself from the streets at a young age, Minh is determined to succeed. His dreams are big and include touring the world, breaking records, winning a Grammy and writing a book. He claims he wants “to be the first Asian singer that is a superstar worldwide.”

He also acknowledges that he’s a businessman, inspired by figures like 50 Cent and Jay-Z, who are not only musicians, but also entrepreneurs. “I might have my own shoes or tie line,” he says, when asked to think about his career in five to 10 years. Above all, he wants to prove to himself and to all those people that refuse to believe that an Asian R&B and pop singer can succeed in the music industry.

“The general stigma is that it can’t work,” Minh admits.

This also sets Minh apart from all the other singers in the business, though. “My edge is that I’m Asian and from another country,” he jokes. No one expected the young Vietnamese man cracking jokes at the piano to belt out a version of “Someone Like You” that would bring chills to his audience.

It’s this element of surprise that Minh believes is so important to his image and is going to give him an advantage in the fame game.

“It’s my dynamite,” he said. “It’s that shock factor.”

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