Thuy | Meet The Vietnamese Singer-Songwriter From The Bay Area

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ThuyFLAUNTIMG\_0254.jpg ![ThuyFLAUNTIMG_0254.jpg](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/1622552820171-IS2DM2VA1OUHV564Z1YJ/ThuyFLAUNTIMG_0254.jpg) Photographer: Kevin Reyes, Stylist: Anna Hermosillo [Thuy](https://www.instagram.com/thuymusic/) is here to declare her place in the music industry, once and for all. Hailing from the Bay Area, the Vietnamese singer-songwriter arrives with her own version of soulful R&B, with vocals strong enough to move mountains. Thuy was surrounded by music growing up, particularly inspired by the 90’s era, and the rising star continues to live out her dreams on the daily. Growing up, a young Thuy fondly remembers watching and listening to the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera… which eventually led to her own dreams of being a pop star. Trading her previous pursuit to be a doctor in the medical field, Thuy hopes her own journey will inspire the masses to also go after their wildest dreams, no matter how high the stakes are. Her breakout moment arrived with the release of “Hands On Me,” which won her home radio station KMEL 106.1’s Home Turf contest and sparked the buzz and attention needed to get her name out there.  In her own words, Thuy describes herself as “really fun and bubbly.” She states, “I’m such a huge animal lover, I love dogs so much! I'm really passionate and compassionate. I get excited about life in general, that's Thuy in a nutshell.” Bringing that same energy into the music industry, Thuy recently unleashed “chances” featuring singer/rapper DCMBR, pairing it with a cinematic visual to match. Plus, Khloe Kardashian was recently sighted bumping Thuy’s record.  _Flaunt_ caught up with Thuy virtually, who is posted in Los Angeles where she’s been for the past 2 years. Read below as we discuss her roots in the Bay, how she got into music, her first record being played on the radio, new visual for “chances,” “universe” inspired by her dog, her fashion, the Khloe Kardashian cosign, her forthcoming EP, and more! Photographer: Kevin Reyes, Stylist: Anna Hermosillo ![Photographer: Kevin Reyes, Stylist: Anna Hermosillo](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d4da5ba41909690635bb_ThuyFLAUNT.jpeg) Photographer: Kevin Reyes, Stylist: Anna Hermosillo **How’s your move to Los Angeles been?** I came out here 2 years ago and I love it. I love it a lot. Everybody has a negative stereotype of LA, but it’s who you surround yourself with. I keep myself in a very small circle. Everybody's so supportive. Literally, everybody I hang out with here in LA is all from the Bay, we get it.  **What was a young Thuy like growing up in Newark?** Oh my gosh, I was the shyest girl. Not confident at all. I remember being in choir, I’d audition for solos and never get any of them. I think I got one solo, the one that goes “tweet tweet..." I forget what song it was. I had a short little moment. I remember always trying to fit in. Not being out there, just passing by. Getting good grades, not being too in the spotlight. Because I was afraid if I was in the spotlight, people would judge me. I was always afraid of that. Coming from an Asian household too, it's like "okay, keep your head down. Be a good student, make your parents proud.” I wasn’t confrontational at all. I was quiet, got along with everybody. I wasn't confident, the way that I am now. Growing up in Newark. I was really good in school. I did the traditional Asian daughter roles: go to school, come home, help your parents out, just be that way.  I never really even dove into music, but I always loved music. I always loved to sing. I grew up in a huge family where karaoke was super prominent at all house parties. I don't really understand Vietnamese that much, but I remember all my aunties would sit around and I’d hop on the karaoke. For whatever reason every time I’d sing, I’d blackout. I wouldn't feel like that shy girl, I’d love to sing! I remember always listening to Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears like "oh my god, I want to be a pop star!" Obviously, because I didn't really see anybody I can look up to that did that, I didn't even know if this is possible. I didn't know if I could do that. Naturally, I went to school and focused on something that’s tangible at the time, that I understood.  **At what point did you realize you could do music for a living?** It took so much time. Even in college, I remember I used to sing for anybody who listened. The more I grew up, the more I started to gain confidence over time. In college, I’d sing all the time to anybody who’d listen. A random person would walk by and I’d sing. I’d always be singing. I knew deep down that “yeah, I'm going to school right now,” but I always had this weird feeling I was going to be a singer. I always knew it. I didn't know how I was going to get there, but I could always envision myself doing something like that.  After I graduated college, I met my boyfriend now. He’s been writing music since he was in junior high. He's always been in the studio. I said, "Do you mind if I follow you to the studio just to see what it's about?" I get in the studio and the energy was palpable. "Holy shit, this is something I can do." It was even stronger when I got into the booth for the first time. I made my first song, it was trash. It was so bad, but I loved it! I knew that‘s where I wanted to be. The first song that I ever dropped was called "Hands On Me”, which I released in 2015. When I dropped it in the Bay Area, I entered the Home Turf Competition for 106 KMEL, and won the competition! I didn't even expect to win it because that’s my first song. Big Von played it on 106 KMEL, everybody’s going crazy! He was on the radio live like, "Wow, everybody's showing so much love right now. We're gonna run “Hands On Me” back." That moment, I thought "okay, I can do this."  **How’d it feel to win that contest?**  I've always been the person that anything I put my mind to, I knew I could do it. I knew I could be successful at it. At the time, I still had a plan B. I’d gotten out of college, so I was circling through all these other medical jobs. I worked in the dental field, I worked in optometry. I was shadowing a physician's assistant at Stanford. I thought “okay, the medical field will be my plan B.” But the more I dove myself into music, I realized the common theme throughout all these career changes was that I loved music. Music was always stable. I was always changing all of these careers, but the music never changed for me. It’s a passion that stayed so strong throughout all of that.  2 years ago, there was an opportunity that a room opened up at my engineer’s house in Los Angeles. I thought “music’s doing okay right now. It's not poppin’ off, but it's constant.” I'm building my fanbase. “Okay, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I need to just do it." 2 months later, we moved to Los Angeles. I’d quit my job and moved to Los Angeles. Barely any savings, I don't know what I was thinking. It was that pivotal moment that changed the trajectory of my entire life. I moved to LA and instantly thought this is the best decision I've ever made. I've never looked back. Going all in and not having a plan B has changed my mentality on everything. **How does it feel to be a minority in the field?** I'm so passionate about it because I never had anybody growing up to help me through all of this and to navigate it. My biggest thing is to be a mentor for young Asian Americans that feel pushed into a box. "You have to be a doctor, you have to be a lawyer,” I thought that too. I’d listen to podcasts and these motivational things, people would say "I did it, so you could do it too!" No, fuck that. I can't do that. But here I am now really living my dreams and doing it. You can do it too because I'm doing it! I genuinely feel so passionate about the topic. I want to be the older sister for everybody that feels they're not heard, or there’s nobody they can look up to for what steps they need to take to get to where they want to get to. Honestly, if I died tomorrow and that’s my legacy—I inspired just one little Asian girl or boy to follow their dreams—I’d die happy. Truly! I feel super passionate about it, because I never had anybody that helped me. **"chances" out now with DCMBR, how does it feel to have it out?**  "chances" was really cool, because I was in a really toxic relationship before the relationship that I'm in now. That song was closing that chapter for me. Like I told you before, growing up I used to be a really quiet girl. I never voiced my opinions. The older that I get, especially the song "chances,” it was a vehicle for me to truly express how I felt. I never really talked about my relationship, but that was cathartic for me to be able to put all my feelings into a song and say, "Okay, this chapter’s done."  The song before, I wrote with my boyfriend actually. We co-write all my songs together, but we wrote the song “universe” together and it was such a difference between “chances.” Because “chances” was about a toxic ex and a really toxic relationship. Then “universe” was about love. The love I have for Oliver, my dog. The love I have for Charlie, my significant other. The love I have for myself, you know? So love in general and the meaning that love is universal. The growth I feel from “chances” to “universe” is so big, that’s really exciting for me to do and start a new chapter.  **Talk about your new single called “in my bag" coming out.** It’s bad bitch vibes. It's Thuy's alter ego, because I'm shyer. Growing up, I was shyer and not very confident. This song is "Oh, I knew I had it in me." I knew all along I was going to do it. I want to read you some of the lyrics. I say "Who knew I would be the one? Yeah, I knew, I knew, I knew." It's quirky, very fun, and an upbeat song. It’s being more cocky and confident. Using the doubts, everybody's doubts. All the doors that closed on me, all the "no's" and putting it into a song. Saying "You know what, I've used all of that to push myself even further."  It’s a bad bitch anthem. I'm so excited about that song because it's so different. It's different from anything I've ever done. The message itself isn’t about a relationship, it's not about love, it's about believing in yourself. Knowing you had it in yourself all along to do everything you wanted to do, but you had to realize it over time. I love that song.  **What inspired the love in the "universe"?**  “universe” was inspired by my dog. Initially, we were in the parking lot at the studio and we hadn't written anything yet. I said "okay, our session’s in 20 minutes. Let's pull up a beat and see what we can write." We started writing about my dog. When I heard the beat, I thought of Oliver and all the immense love I have for him. It started out about my dog, then it turned into a love song. Love for your significant other, human or not. Furbaby or not. It also turned into a self-love song, trusting in yourself. I love what the song means overall and the message that loves is universal. Love is everywhere in your life. For me, I find it in my dog, my boyfriend, and myself.  **How does it feel to have Khloe Kardashian post your song?** Crazy! What the fuck?! That's how I felt. I was filming a TikTok at the time. I was filming a cover and I don't even really ever post covers on TikTok. I said "You know what, I'ma give it a go. Let me sing a cover." In the middle of singing the cover, one of my fans DMs me on Instagram. I'm looking up and I'm singing, while also looking at the message. "Khloe just posted your song on her story." What? I go to the message, I thought "she's not talking about Kardashian. There's no way!" How can somebody like Khloe Kardashian even know of me?”  I go on, I'm pressing through all her stories. Oh my god, holy shit! It was a crazy moment for me. It's so true how far music travels. You never know how far your music can travel and how many people you can touch. That song “Day Dream” is such a heartbreaking song, feeling like you don't belong in that relationship. You've given it your all and you can't give anymore. That's what the song means to me but it could mean anything to anyone listening to it. That's what I love about music, people can listen to it and it can interpret their own meaning and message from it. For Khloe Kardashian to use it while promoting Kim's SKIMS line was so incredible. I was shocked, to say the least, I couldn't believe it.  **How would you describe your fashion sense?**  Literally cozy and casual, but a girl loves her glam too. Growing up, I used to have to hide my makeup from my parents. My parents were really strict with makeup. I remember I’d pack a second outfit to school. I don't know if that was my way to rebel or not, but I’d change into a different outfit. Now being able to do music videos and photoshoots, it's so cool to have the little giddy girl come back. I get to play dress-up, it's so fun to play different characters. On the regular, I'm the type of girl that loves baggy clothes, baggy jeans, sneakers. When it comes to photoshoots and video shoots, I love playing different characters and wearing things that are different. At the core, I'm cozy and casual, but I love my glam too.  **What can we expect from your forthcoming EP?**  The EP is about talking through the stages of a toxic relationship. There’s the heartbreak, then there’s love and loving yourself, and then finally believing in yourself. It's almost walking you through literally my life journey. It's super raw, super true. It's all my own experiences, I'm speaking really from my POV. I’m finally able to talk about things that are below the surface. The songs that I've released before are surface-level, fun bops, but the EP is a piece of work that’s so raw and true. A piece I'm really excited for everybody to hear to learn more about Thuy and her journey. Who is Thuy? That's really what the EP is about.  **Anything else you want to let the people know?**  I’m excited for everybody to hear the new music and to know who Thuy is. To be able to use my story as inspiration at the very least, I'm excited. I'm excited for everybody to learn about me. Honestly, I was put here by the universe to share my story. If it touches somebody or pushes somebody to fulfill their dreams in any type of way, I’ll die happy.