Expat in Saigon – Kyo York

07 Jul

At the end of 2009, an American flew over half of the world from New York to Hậu Giang, Việt Nam, he was going to teach English. Who would know three years later, 2011, he comes on stage and performs Phôi Pha with one of the most talented Vietnamese singer, Tuấn Ngọc.

Kyo York

(Phôi pha is one of the most popular song in Vietnam since the mid of 20th century, if that does matter with you)

His story is short but interested. Many of you may have “been there – done that”. He started in Vietnam as a teacher, then studies Vietnamese with lots of interest. And it takes lots of effort and time to get onto the stages of Đồng Dao, ATB, Saxn’art Jazz Club, Lio…with lots of audiences.

His favourite Vietnamese composers are Trịnh Công Sơn, Ngô Thụy Miên, Phạm Duy. Those in the first place of Vietnamese modern music history.

Tuấn Ngọc and Kyo York with Phôi Pha at Đồng Dao

For me, I would definitely come to listen. It’s not because an expats that can remember lyrics and sings Vietnamese songs, it’s the feeling he puts into them, come straight to audiences’ mind.

by Trà

SaigonStay – All the best a local friend can give you!


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Entertainment


9 responses to “Expat in Saigon – Kyo York

  1. kp

    July 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    TREN HANG LA KHO, nhe nhe hon chut nua thi hay lam!!! em kyo

    nhung da hay lam roi

  2. kp

    July 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

    kp :
    Anh Tuan Ngoc co nhung cu chi rat nha nhan…
    hai ten nay hat bai nay hay va co hon lam

  3. kp

    July 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    em kyo hat bai phoi pha hay qua!
    ah van con giong mien nam , nghe rat duyen day!
    chuc mung em

  4. Nguyen

    December 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    That’s where you’re wrong, it doesn’t take a lot of effort for an expat–more precisely a “white” person to get on a Vietnamese stage. Vietnamese people have a strange infatuation with any white person that’s able to sing or speak in Vietnamese. They think it’s some sort of grand accomplishment or something so every time when one does it they’re instantly on one Vietnamese stage or another showing their “accomplishment”. It’s not like Vietnamese is the hardest language in the world phonetically speaking, I mean all of our words are 1 syllable. I think people are amazed that a white person actually took the time to learn our language, and if that’s the case what does it say about our pride or self-esteem? Do we have no pride in our culture, do we have that low of a self-esteem that we’d be amazed every time we see a white person doing something like that that we promote them to almost “star-like” status? I mean look at Pham Quynh Anh, she’s a rising star in Belgium not because she’s a Vietnamese singer singing French, but because she can actually sing and sing very well. People in Belgium are mainly concerned with her having a good voice or not, not if she’s Vietnamese or white. You say you’re not interested in him cuz he’s a white expat that “It’s not because an expats that can remember lyrics and sings Vietnamese songs, it’s the feeling he puts into them, come straight to audiences’ mind” but if that were the case why would you include “expats that can remember lyrics and sings Vietnamese songs” in that sentence? Why would the title of your post be “Expats in Saigon – Kyo York”? If you truly weren’t impressed by him being a white expat doing all of these things, title of your post would probably look like “Kyo York singing “Rieng Mot Goc Troi” in SG” or something like that. And your wording for that last sentence in the post would probably look something like “I’d go see him cuz his soulful voice reaches out and touches the audience.”

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  9. Pablo

    January 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I like your blog. Your English is excellent. Kyo York should sing more meaningful songs like: Nhu co bac Ho trong ngay vui dai thang, Ho Chi Minh dep nhat ten nguoi, Truong Son dong-Truong Son tay etc… rather than those silly love songs which were written in the South during the Vietnam war. Those silly love songs make one feel sleepy and become passive.



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