British folk musician Jim Morray graced the stage of Hanoi at an international music festival last weekend before hitting the Hard Rock Café Monday night with Vietnam Idol 2011 runner-up Van Mai Huong and singer Anh Khang in Ho Chi Minh.
Jim Morray said "Hello" in Vietnamese to fans in his show at Hard Rock Cafe Monday night in Ho Chi Minh Photo: Tuoitre
Born in 1981 in Cheshire, Jim is dubbed “the future of British folk ” by the Billboard US when he released his first official debut album, “Sweet England” in 2003, whose EP version was made in his bedroom when the talented musician was a month away from getting his classical music degree at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
While folk music has gone down from its heyday during the 1960s-1970s as it is facing fierce competition from more contemporary genres, Jim’s award-winning “Sweet England” and his following groundbreaking works such as ‘Jim Moray’ or ‘Low Culture’ has put him at the forefront of the folk revival in the UK.
“I choose to follow this kind of music because I have a passion; I don’t really care about the difficulties and how much profit I can make from it,”
“I only wish I could bring folk closer to young people”, he said.
Mixing traditional folk with modern technical beats and sounds from different instruments, Jim has breathed a fresh air to the forgotten genre, giving it a comeback that has swept over music fans of all ages in his country, especially the younger ones.
“Folk seem to die in many places in the world, but in recent years, many UK music stations dedicate air time to folk, helping it to revive strongly.”
A keen fan of electronics and the British rock band Radiohead, Jim incorporates what he loves with what he does, creating a new inventive kind of contemporary folk blending English traditional music with orchestral flourishes, guitars and electronics.
“Young people can find many new and different instruments in my music, therefore to them, folk becomes friendlier and more modern, besides the dominating rock and hiphop,”
“I really think Vietnamese musicians should follow this way if they want to revive their folk music,” Jim said.
The 30-year-old musician said he would come back to Vietnam for more research on Southeast Asian rich traditional music.