Saturday, March 28, 2015

Duc Huy

Duc Huy (1947-     ) has been accredited as the most prolific overseas Vietnamese songwriter and composer since 1975.  He is also an accomplished singer and musician.

Duc Huy was born June 6, 1947 to a Roman Catholic family in Son Tay province located near Hanoi, North Vietnam.  At the age of four, his family fled from their homeland to resettle in South Vietnam.  During his years growing up, his family moved around and lived in various cities such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat and then finally Saigon.  Encouraged by his two cousins, both of whom were accomplished musicians, Nguyen Tuan Khanh and Nguyen Vu, Duc Huy began his music career while still in high school.  At the age of 16, he joined the popular all boys band, Les Vampires, in Saigon.

After Les Vampires, Duc Huy would later become associated with several other prominent groups in the pop music scene of Saigon such as Crazy Boys, Revolution and Strawberry Four, which consisted of other fellow band members Tuan Ngoc, Tung Giang and Billy Shane.  In 1967, he had his very first song published entitled as Khoc Ha.  Unable to achieve success as a songwriter with his first published song, his luck would change for the better two years later with another song he had written and composed, Con Mua Phun.  From then on, Duc Huy's career as a songwriter was firmly established with the popularity he had gained among the young adults demographics of music lovers in Vietnam.  Among his most sought after written compositions prior to 1975 in Saigon was Bay Di Canh Chim Bien, a biopic ballad about his personal dreams of studying abroad.

In 1972, Duc Huy graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Saigon, School of Literature.  Three years later, he would flee his homeland and spent months living at a refugee camp in the Philippines before arriving to the United States where he first resettled in San Francisco, California.  In order to support himself, Duc Huy first found work helping out in the kitchen at a Vietnamese restaurant.  Through a Korean-American friend, he was introduced to the music scene of San Francisco's Chinatown.  Soon after, he would resume his music career playing for clubs and restaurants around Chinatown.

During the mid 1980s, Duc Huy had worked on a cruise ship part of the entertainment crew sailing to destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica and Tahiti.  He returned to the Vietnamese music industry eventually and continued with peforming, songwriting and recording for overseas Vietnamese audiences worldwide.  In 1989, Duc Huy recorded a highly successful duet album with the late Vietnamese singer Ngoc Lan entitled Dau Yeu Ngay Xua.  Among his most popular written compositions during this period include Duong Xa Uot Mua, Nguoi Tinh Tram Nam, Nhu Da Dau Yeu, Loi Yeu Thuong, Tieng Mua Dem, Mot Tinh Yeu, Va Toi Cung Yeu Em, Va Con Tim Da Vui Tro Lai, Sao Van Con Mua Roi and Tieng Mua Dem, which was first recorded by his then wife, singer Thao Mi.  At the height of his success, Duc Huy had owned a restaurant, a recording studio and a production company that released all of his audio recordings.

Duc Huy holding his 2 year old son (2015)
Since 2004, Duc Huy has performed on numerous live shows back in Vietnam.  He now takes up residence primarily in his native country.  Most recently, he has served on the panel of judges on popular television programs in Vietnam such as Buoc Nhay Hoan Vu 2011 and Guong Mat Than Quen.  On October of 2015, Duc Huy revealed on an interview with Lao Dong Magazine in Vietnam that he has remarried since his repatriation to Vietnam.  His current wife is 44 years his junior and together they are proud parents of a 2 year old son.  

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