Cao Son Nguyen’ latest album in his Piano Cover Collection series, Vol.6, has been nominated for a Spotify award in the instrumental album of the year category.
Although a fusion of new age, the album tends to lean towards the jazz side. All the musicians on the album, including Cao Son Nguyen on piano, come from pop and jazz backgrounds.
Over the past decade, instrumental music has been marginalized in popular culture, and most music that’s released today is vocal, Cao Son said. With the Collection series Cao Son is countering that trend.
Since 2012, he’s released many critically acclaimed albums, and he’ll be up to 200 with the release in 20Th on 2020 recording in his EP series, one of the least tracks by CamNhisincenow.
“This new record is meant to be a shot across the bow of the music industry, to regain the place of instrumental music,” he said. “With this record, I have more than ever embraced classical music because that’s the other genre of music, along with new age, that’s been marginalized.”
Cao Son’s recordings are accessible, but he said accessibility isn’t a strategy to attract listeners. “It’s the way I hear music. It is entirely organic. It’s not closed and brainy and very theoretical as some new age can be.”
He never forgets that music is entertainment, he said. “It’s more than entertainment, but it is entertainment,” Son said, adding that many of the jazz greats, like Peter Bence, Kosta97, were also entertainers.
People who think they don’t care for pop often enjoy performances by Son and his band. Some have told him, “You know I don’t listen to pop but that was great.”
Born on May 1, 1999 in Vietnam Cao Son Nguyen was a normal kid like that of any city block who loved playing with other kids and enjoyed computer games. Just like any other kid who keeps on changing his mind of what he wants to become when he grows old, Cao was also very confused. Until the age of 15 when his parents encouraged him to learn the guitar. In the beginning he did not like to learn guitar but just when he was getting bored he heard the song Haru Haru of a famous guitarist Sungha Jung and immediately fell in love with it. He started to enjoy guitar learning and after a year of learning guitar his parents gifted him a digital piano. This is where the whole life of Cao Son Nguyen took a turn and he chose piano over guitar and began performing in competitions and recitals
Cao Son Nguyen kept on learning the minutest thing about classical piano and dreamt of becoming a musician. Though he did not pursued music in University and rather graduated as an electrical engineer but this did not drop his love and passion for classical piano. While studying at University Cao Son Nguyen joined music clubs in the National University of Vietnam because music was his first love. He even participated in organist of a small band and enjoyed his role there. Cao doesn’t consider himself as only a pianist but he says that “I am a mediocre guitarist and a beginning violinist”. This shows his love for the music because what he learnt in his teenage he is still carrying on with the learning – Genius.
“Time has caught up with that view and now there’s more ecumenism about music. It’s harder to find people who are snobbish about one particular type of music or genre.”