The year is drawing to a close, and here are 10 tracks that have dominated the Vietnamese pop music charts in 2021.
Many of the most popular songs of the year talk about youth and experiences while young, and reached millions of views on YouTube and trended on social media platforms.
Songs by young and upcoming artists have dominated the charts.
Besides EDM and hip-hop, songs that helped people relax and heal during the Covid-19 pandemic became big hits.
‘Muon Roi Sao Ma Con’ (It’s Late, But…) by Son Tung M-TP
The Vietnamese V-pop prince composed and released the pop R&B song in April. The video has so far got over 143 million views on YouTube. It held the number one spot on Lan Song Xanh (Green Wave), one of the nation’s main music charts, for 32 weeks – a feat not achieved by any other song in the last 10 years. The MV is about a boy secretly in love with a girl and staying up all night and smiling to himself while thinking about her.
‘Laylalay’ by Jack
Six hours after its release on Jack’s 24th birthday in April, the song topped Vietnam’s iTunes digital music chart and YouTube’s top trending chart. The video has since got over 48 million hits on YouTube.
It was also number one on the Lan Song Xanh 2021 chart for 16 weeks, and got nominated for several awards.
‘Laylalay’ is a confession composed with an EDM drop and hip-hop melodies about a kid who laments about his previous love.
‘Roi Toi Luon’ (Oh Go Ahead) by Nai Phi Ho
According to TikTok, this was the most popular Vietnamese song on the platform this year. On the app, videos with the hashtag #Roitoiluon have got over 530 million views, 1.5 million videos used the song as background music and hundreds of users covered, remixed and made parodies.
The song has an enthusiastic feel and is about a person who has just proposed to his fiancée. Ho combines a variety of musical elements in the song, including Khmer music and traditional Mekong Delta folk melodies. The video has gotten over 111 million views on YouTube.
‘Chi La Khong Cung Nhau’ (Just Not Together) by Tang Phuc, Truong Thao Nhi
The song with Chinese melodies sparked a frenzy among Chinese music fans. The MV, released in March, talks about the lingering feelings after a breakup, and has gotten over 97 million views on YouTube, making it the two teenage singers’ biggest success to date.
‘Sai Gon Dau Long Qua’ (Hurting in Saigon) by Hua Kim Tuyen, Hoang Duyen
The song, written by musician Hua Kim Tuyen and based on sad memories in love, was released at the end of March. Performing with new singer Hoang Duyen, he combines pop ballads with modern canto-pop, giving listeners a feeling of nostalgia. The song’s lyrics have been widely shared on social media.
Many artists have covered it, including Duong Hoang Yen, Thieu Bao Tram, JSol, and Cara. It remained on the Lan Song Xanh 2021 chart for 15 weeks and got over 45 million hits on YouTube. The hashtag #SaiGondaulongqua has over 140 million views on TikTok, and thousands of videos used it as background music.
‘Tron Tim’ (Hide And Seek) by Den Vau
The rapper released the song on his 32nd birthday on May 14. It has received over 51 million views on YouTube so far. It enabled Vau to break the record for the artist with the most MVs (11) in top YouTube Vietnam’s trending chart. He has said this is his favorite song, one he recorded in less than a week. It is about the sadness of adulthood and a longing for the past.
Vau uses a number of classical musical instruments like drums, the piano and melodica besides imaginative lyrics filled with similes and rhymes.
‘Nam Quoc Son Ha’ (Vietnamese Motherland) by Erik, Phuong My Chi
Chi sings the Vietnamese chanty intro to the song, which is inspired by an ancient poem called ‘Nam Quoc Son Ha.’ The song quickly achieved popularity online, with many people praising the melody and meaningful lyrics that express national pride. In two months the video has garnered nearly 10 million views and was once atop the trending music chart on YouTube.
‘The Playah’ by Soobin
Soobin released a video of a special performance of ‘The Playah’ in May with SlimV as the music director, combining three of his previous songs and performing with a live orchestra. The singer was applauded for his powerful vocals and stage presence. On YouTube, the video has over 36 million views.
‘Ha Con Vuong Nang’ (Lingering Summer Sunbeams) by DatKaa
In the MV released in April. DatKaa composed and sang the song while Kido performed the rap part. It features a catchy melody and has nearly 43 million views on YouTube. Videos on Tiktok using this song by Datkaa have received over 162 million views on the platform. Many local pop artists, including Hoa Minzy and Erik, have covered the song.
‘Khue Moc Lang’ (Kuimu Wolf) – Huong Ly, Jombie
The song is based on the love story of two fictional characters, Khue Moc Lang and Princess Bach Hoa. The MV, which was dropped on YouTube in August, has gotten over 43 million views, making it one of the top 20 trending songs of the year on a Vietnamese online music chart.
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