Nhạc Gãy: The Vietnamese Night Club Breaking Social Taboos

Nhạc Gãy is a Vietnamese rave club that is slowly breaking down the social taboos of Vietnamese society.

Credit: DJ Mag

Five years since its creation, Nhạc Gãy has taken Vietnamese nightlife by storm. Translating loosely to “Broken Music”, it is a nightclub that seeks to promote the Vietnamese music collective. Their founders are Anh Phi Tran, Linh Ngô, Celina Huynh, Thao Vu and Mike Pham.

Tran and Abi Wasabi (Nhạc Gãys Artistic Director) told MixMag how the club, initially, seemed to only play music from foreign acts. Any local sounds that were played involved Vina House (a style of local House music that samples old Vietnamese songs) and old traditional songs. Tran told Dazed how she would often leave clubs early, as “it just wouldn’t sustain me”.

They also noticed how Vietnamese clubs were mainly interested in inviting foreign DJs. Any attention given to local acts were underpaid, or not paid at all.  After the start of the pandemic, the club learnt of the importance of local Vietnamese artists. Nhạc Gãy invited these artists to their homes to jam, paying them to take part in classes, and then inviting them to officially play at their club.

“The pandemic pushed us to dig deeper into our own scene and focus on building growing it instead of venturing out which was a great discovery.”

First Club Compilation

In February, Nhạc Gãy officially released Nhạc Gãy Tổng Hợp Số 1, a compilation of 14 tracks featuring local and international Vietnamese artists. It was made with the intention of honouring their Vietnamese heritage. The compilation also honours the contemporary sounds adored by the younger generation.

Kim Durbeck (a Vietnamese-Norwegian producer featured on the compilation) told DJMag she was appreciative of the opportunity this presented for Vietnamese artists, and that “the Vietnamese electronic music scene has been freed, liberated and born to become the future of the next generation of local talents! I am so proud to be a part of this.”

Breaking Down Social Barriers

Nhạc Gãy has also teamed up with InPsychOut, a mental health facility run by young psychologists. A podcast was born out of this collaboration, with the goal of seeking to encourage open discussion on mental health. This partnership was further motivated by the unfortunate passing of a close friend from mental health complications. Partnering with the facility allowed for Nhạc Gãy to expose its followers towards proper mental health facilities. The first compilation’s sales were also donated to the facility.

Tran told MixMag, “we’re not experts at it (mental health). Therefore we collaborate with other organizations to bring these topics closer to everyone and through the process of doing that, we learned a lot about ourselves as well”.

Credit: Yatender

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