The notable successes reaped by these versatile male stars over the last year has landed them spots amongst today’s most influential Vietnamese artists, with solid fan bases admiring their talent and unrelenting effort to prove their worth.
These young men have emerged as versatile artists, composers, and directors in recent years, with each using 2016 as a springboard into the limelight.
Noo Phuoc Thinh
Thinh debuted as a singer eight years ago, gradually earning fame due to his gorgeous looks and excellent singing and dancing.
The 29-year-old singer and model is idolized by a growing number of young fans and enjoyed a remarkably triumphant year in 2016.
His accolades over the past year include being named Japan’s Tourism Ambassador in Vietnam for this third year in a row and being the winner of the magnetic music reality show, “The Remix.”
The program has stood out from several other music-oriented reality shows in recent years by organizing singers, music producers, and DJs into teams and highlighting the chemistry needed between the three to produce great music.
Thinh was also a breath of fresh air to the fourth season of the "The Voice Kids Vietnam" singing competition, and "Tuyet Dinh Song Ca" (great duets) on which he worked as a dedicated coach.
Emerging Vietnamese singer Noo Phuoc Thinh. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Though his hands are full with a hectic schedule of performance across the country, Thinh still found time in 2016 to release catchy hits and sign advertising contracts with around 10 major brands.
His "Noo Phuoc Thinh Live Concert" in Ho Chi Minh City in November 2016 drew a staggering two million views, including a record-breaking (on-the-spot) 35,000 in attendance and more than 1.8 million online viewers.
“Now that I have a considerable fan base and relatively firm foothold, I’m set on releasing a solo album and single each year. I’ll be able to give the products my best shot,” Thinh said.
Even with his success, it seems fame has not gone to his head. “I’m convinced that we should give sincerely before we can receive anything in return,” he says.
Like Noo Phuoc Thinh, Isaac Pham, a former member of 365 Band, a popular Vietnamese boy-band, also enjoyed a successful 2016, particularly with his appearance as a witty judge on the maiden season of the "Vietnam Idol Kids" singing contest.
The young star used 2016 as an opportunity to put a foot in the door to his acting career, notably winning the Rising Star Award at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival for his lead role in "Tam Cam: The Untold Story."
The historical fantasy film, directed by local model-actress-director Ngo Thanh Van, competed in the festival’s A Window on Asian Cinema category.
The Rising Star Award was one of six given in separate categories during the Asia Star Awards at the film fest in Busan, South Korea.
The artist was the solo promoter of the flick to producers and distributors at the festival as Van, his boss and mentor, was unable to attend the event.
“When I appeared on the red carpet, I was overwhelmed with a mix ofanxiety, confidence, something verging on suffocation. I kept telling myself: There’s no going back. You must do your best,” Isaac recalled.
His role as the crown prince in “Tam Cam: The Untold Story” came shortly after he was announced the runner-up of "The Remix," one of Vietnam’s most-watched singing reality shows.
Issac’s success on the show led to several offers which he turned down in order to devote an entire six months to the feature-length movie.
Within just a short period, he mastered martial arts, fencing, horse riding, along with developing the talk and walk of an old-time royal.
He revealed that he donned the same black suit on the 2016 Busan film festival’s red carpet, during his promotion of the film at the fest’s project markets, while claiming the award during the presentation ceremony.
International award winning actor-singer Isaac Pham. Courtesy of Isaac Pham
After six years in showbiz, the local teens' “prince of the dreams” has now matured.
“In my late 20s, I now allow myself to become more involved in different artistic spheres which spark my true feelings and inspiration, rather than because I was pressured by audience expectations. If one keeps trying to live up to others’ expectations, their life will be meaningless,” he said.
Nguyen Phi Phi Anh
Nguyen Phi Phi Anh, a theatrical and film directing major at a U.S. university, looks like a teenager, with his small build, childlike face, and casual dress, but behind the 26-year-old’s misleading appearance is a rich personality full of enigmatic contrasts.
The young artist’s nearly 40 Broadway-style performances, each written, directed, and produced by himself, have been staged at L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi since October 2016.
The compendium of three productions, divided into 35 shows, included "Dem He Sau Cuoi" (Last Night after the Summer), "Goc Pho Danh Vong" (Corner of Fame), and "Mong Uoc Khong Xa Voi" (The Plausible Dream).
The performances, part of his "Hope" project, seek to provide a more profound window into Broadway musicals.
Though some of the actors in Anh’s plays have been involved in reality TV, most of the cast are still amateurs.
Vietnamese musical writer-director Nguyen Phi Phi Anh, a student at a U.S. college. Courtesy of Nguyen Phi Phi Anh
"Dem He Sau Cuoi" and "Goc Pho Danh Vong" were previously performed in 2012 and 2013 and were enthusiastically embraced by the audience.
Each performance features excerpts from world-famed classic musicals, with the lyrics rewritten in Vietnamese by Anh and various recent hits from global music charts by renowned singers.
Anh shared that back in 2011, during an internship in Hanoi, he was chilled at the prospect of writing scripts for Vietnamese musicals.
He then merged the knowledge and skills acquired from his theatrical and film directing undergraduate course at Hampshire College in Massachusetts with his own contemplative thoughts about today’s Vietnamese society.
The aspiring playwright said that he is ready to surmount his lingering fright to produce new plays.
A scene from "Dem He Sau Cuoi" (Last Night after the Summer), one of Nguyen Phi Phi Anh’s acclaimed musicals. Photo: Tuoi Tre