Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ma Chanpanha marches to his own beat in China



Ma Chanpanha marches to his own beat in China

Chanpanha was chosen by the government to perform his own songs in China.
Chanpanha was chosen by the government to perform his own songs in China. Photo supplied

Ma Chanpanha marches to his own beat in China

Cambodian singer Ma Chanpanha was in China this week to show off the Kingdom's new generation of original musical talent.

Chanpanha, 23, was the sole representative selected by the Cambodian government to perform in Beijing at the 2015 China ASEAN Friendship Concert last week.

He will also perform in Yunan province today.

In previous years, Cambodian performers sent to perform overseas would generally do traditional songs. However, Chanpanha is singing his own compositions.

“Being a song composer and singer I’ve faced a lot of challenges because it’s a different way of doing things to most musical artists in Cambodia. Originality isn’t really valued here, even by my own family”, said Chanpanha.

“I am so excited that they recruited me as a youth to represent my country”, he said. “I didn’t expect that it is only me who represent the country.”

Chanpanha was one of a growing number of young original songwriters that the government was keen to encourage, said Ministry of Culture and Fine Art undersecretary of state Ouk Socheat.

Socheat said Cambodian music had for years suffered from a lack of originality with most songs just recycled or copied from overseas, but that is beginning to change.

"I'm happy to encourage young people to show their artistic talent", he said.

On Sunday here in Cambodia, even more original talent will be on show at the Mic Original Song Contest being held at the Cambodian Institute of Technology.

“It is a big event compared to previous events in the country and we will run two programs in the event: original song contest to find the three best songs and original song from senior singers,” said organiser Seng Pyseth.

Our purpose is to encourage senior singers and young generation who have new talent to get into the music industry and we try to promote the concept of original songs."

Chanpanha said Cambodian music now was similar to how it was in the 1950s when few new songs were being written and there was a strong influence from other countries.

However then the 1960s and 1970s came along with an explosion of original music and ideas. "I believe Cambodian youth generation is better now because they are full of talent and passion”, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro