Vietnamese singer Mai Khôi is a dissident. After gaining enormous fame as a pop “darling of the state” in her home country, Mai Khôi used her platform to speak out against the repressive laws in the one-party Vietnamese society. Speaking out against strict censorship laws for artists and performers, as well as the gendered restrictions against women, turned Mai Khôi from a celebrated patriotic artist, to an outspoken rebel.
Now Mai Khôi lives in exile from Vietnam in Pittsburgh, USA, where she continues to release new music with her band, The Dissidents. In this podcast she tells Laura Hassler all about her incredible life story from pop superstar, to artist in exile, to human rights advocate.
This episodes features music by Mai Khôi and collaborating artists:
- 19:39: Antibodies – Mai Khôi and Hamed Sino
- 27:28: Xin Ông (Please, Sir) – Mai Khôi Chem Gio
- 35:15: Hay Lang Nghe – Tuan Khanh Feat. Mai Khôi
This song is part of a soon-to-be released campaign advocating for the release of Vietnamese environmental activists who are in jail now. Find more information at the 88 Project: https://the88project.org/profile/566/nguy-thi-khanh-/
Inclusion of Xin Ông (Please, Sir) is kindly licensed by Mai Khoi and LIDIO by Safemuse, a record label supporting the work of censored artists from around the globe.
Mai Khoi: singer, guitar, goong
Quyen Thien Dac: saxophones
Nguyen Duc Minh: traditonal flute, percussion
Music and lyrics: Mai Khoi
Lyrics on Airdone: Benito del Sur
English lyrics and English vocals on Cuffed in freedom: Anna Högberg
Producer, mixing and mastering: Nguyễn Nhat Lý / Phù Sa Lab Studio, Hanoi