Below is an informal conversation with Jazzy Da Lam by yours truly. At first, I wanted to do a formal Q&A, but Jazzy is such an easygoing individual that I decided to throw all that out the window, and just have a normal interaction with her. As you can see, I have never done this before, but (thankfully) Jazzy has made it painless and enjoyable for me. Since this site gears toward English readers, I have translated the dialogue into English with Jazzy’s help. Hope you enjoy this special exchange that can only be found at Visualgui.com.
Jazzy: Hi Donny
Donny: Hi Jazzy, I have not prepared anything.
Jazzy: We can wait till you’re ready… then we can chat. [Giggles]
Donny: Let me listen to your album [Moon & You] more carefully first.
Jazzy: Uh oh… Listen carefully for more criticisms, hihihi…
Donny: Hahaha… Are you mocking me?
Jazzy: Mocking, no. Shaking, yes.
Donny: You’re living in Germany?
Jazzy: Yea.. Munich, Germany.
Donny: You know German?
Jazzy: Yes! But not that good.
Jazzy: Would you like me to sing in German for you? [Laugh]
Donny: I would love to hear it, but wouldn’t understand a thing.
Donny: How about English? You sing English pretty good.
Jazzy: Many said that I sing English not too clear, but some like it and very supportive (they probably trying to make me feel good… by encouraging me), but I did my best… There are always two sides of things, praises and criticisms… I understand the ones that praise me are encouraging me, and the ones that criticize would like me to work harder; therefore, I appreciate both positive and negative feedbacks.
Donny: You sound pretty clear to me.
Jazzy: oh… thanks Donny.
Donny: I have listened to quite a few Vietnamese singers sing in English, but their pronunciations are way off. Did someone train you in English or you’ve trained yourself?
Jazzy: Oh I have asked several friends both Viet and American to hear how I sound. Overall the reaction is good. They said I have an accent, but that’s not important because sometimes the accent makes the song more exotic (That’s what they said).
Donny: Yes! Definitely.
Jazzy: American friends don’t expect me to sing like an American; therefore, they love it [when I sing in English]. And so… I don’t learn anything from them… I have to listen to CDs to learn on my own.
Donny: Your accent sounds really cute. I am not saying that to make you feel good either.
Jazzy: Ok ok… No more shy… I can now lift my nose up, huh? [laugh]
Donny: How did you come up with “Jazzy?”
Jazzy: Online friends came up with that name for me.
Donny: Although your name suggests jazz, your debut is consisted of jazz, blues, funk, pop and classic. Which one is your style?
Jazzy: That’s my style, everything. A little pop mixed into jazz, funk, blues…
Donny: Then you need to change your name to Jazzymixy? [Laugh]
Jazzy: hahahaha… yea
Jazzy: As a child I learned classic piano. Love Chopin, Bach and Debusy… Therefore, they influence my music.
Donny: And now, piano jazz?
Donny: Who is your favorite jazz pianist?
Jazzy: Oh, many. At the beginning, I listened to Oscar Peterson. Then Bill Evans and Keith Karrett were my heros. And now I have paid more attention to Michel Camilo & Rubalcaba Gonzales.
Donny: How about Thelonious Monk?
Jazzy: I like to listen to him, but can’t play like him.
Donny: Why not? Too choppy?
Jazzy: My hands are too small. Playing like him is impossible. [Laugh]
Donny: I love him and Duke too.
Jazzy: I have a live DVD concert of Monk… just amazing!
Jazzy: Duke’s arrangements are wicked too.
Donny: How is your album doing in Vietnam?
Jazzy: It sold more than 1,000 copies in the first two weeks.
Donny: I think my review has something to do with it. [Sniff Sniff]
Jazzy: hihihi… sure.
Donny: Just kidding. I am not that arrogant. [Laugh]
Jazzy: We have something in common [Giggles]
Donny: Absolutely [Giggles]
Donny: Speaking of my review, I did mention the scats at the end of “Khuc Dem.” Have you thought of scats for the whole song like Ella Fitzgerald?
Jazzy: Ohh, I used to perform “Shadow of Your Smile” with bossa feeling, and I have to scat 2-3 choruses. But this CD is for Vietnamese listeners, and it’s also my debut… I would like to keep it calm and quiet.
Donny: You mean not to make too much impression?
Jazzy: Yes. Something like that.
Donny: Hmm… Very humble!
Jazzy: Hehehe… humble?… Yeah! I am being “humbled” just to trick you. [Laugh]
Donny: Speaking of calmness, you’re a mellow person huh?
Jazzy: I think I am, but the person opposite from me might not think so.
Donny: Oh yeah, who is that “opposite” person?
Donny: Yeah…sure [Laugh]
Donny: I am a mellow guy too. That’s why I appreciate “Vat Trang.”
Jazzy: You like “Vat Trang?” Can you give me a reason?
Donny: I didn’t get it at first, but once I am on the road at night, “Vat Trang” comes to life. It’s like Serenade.
Jazzy: Serenade is a form of Nocturne (a night song), and “Vat Trang” is like that. Or “Mau Dem,” “Dao Khuc,” Vong Dem,” Khuc Dem, “Trang & Em.” They all pitch black. [Laugh]
Jazzy: You like “Mau Dem” the best right? Why?
Donny: Didn’t I give a reason in my review? Just kidding. I like the tranquility, the quietness, the calmness, the urge to sooth, and your nightingale-like voice near the end.
Donny: Are you touring now?
Jazzy: Yes. I am on the road with my funk band in Austria and Italy. In Munich, I am in a group called The Tulips – an Acapella Gospel Choir.
Donny: When will you be in the US to show us some love? [Wink]
Jazzy: I would love to have an opportunity to perform for the US audience, but my schedule is not working out this year. Hopefully next year.
Donny: What are your plans in the future?
Jazzy: I have many upcoming projects. One of them is an album in which I will perform my favorite jazz standards and another one with new materials including instrumental compositions I have written.
Donny: Sound very exciting. I am looking forward to both. Thanks for your time and good luck.