Tuimi's profile

     

When Tuingươi, a Vietnamese singer-songwriter based in Ho Chi Minc City & Berlin, was three years old, she lịch sự karaoke at family gatherings. Some time after, while being raised in Dresden, Germany, she was classically trained for piano. But it wasn"t until Alicia Keys came out with "Fallin"" that music really clicked for her. "She was a confident, beautiful woman who made piano look and sound cool," she says. "I knew I wanted lớn be lượt thích her."


Fast forward to lớn age 19, và the singer got a lucky break after posting a đoạn phim of herself singing on Facebook. An A&R rep from Universal reached out và she entered the world of songwriting camps. That boot-camp industry training only further informed her artistic vision, and helped her make international connections that would strengthen her music.

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Now, at 25, Tuimi is ready for her closeup. Her debut single, "Purpose," has received over a half-million streams và a Brazilian fanbase — not bad for an independent artist on her own label who manages her image, sound, and kinh doanh. The rising singer premieres the "Menina" video today on PAPER, a coming-out statement of sorts that places her in a canon of global queer pop musicians from Hayley Kiyoko to Troye Sivan, who have sầu built wildly engaged fanbases on their truth và identities.


Tuimày, a trilingual woman who speaks Vietnamese, German, và English, decided to use "menimãng cầu," a Portuguese word referring to a mysterious "girl" or "woman" in a romantic context, as the hook và title for her new tuy nhiên, because, as she says: "Why not?" Given her eclectic background as a woman & as a songwriter, Tuingươi understands that language is global, & when used inclusively, it is a powerful tool for connection.


Everything about "Menina" blends Tuimi"s vast, international influences. The tuy nhiên was produced by Parisian music production duo, Trackstorm x Ren Hook, and co-written in Berlin with Moli & Vivien. It has flavors of R&B and trap with a seductive pop sensibility. "Can I be that drink that you been sippin" on?" she teases. "Out of all these girls you are the only one." The video was produced by young creatives in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, & features local Saigon Drag Queens Gia Ky và Tien Ngoc.


We chatted with Tuingươi on the phone in Saigon, where she"s been playing small club shows and prepping her debut album. We talk Asian representation, queer identity, và K-pop.

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You sort of live sầu between worlds, as a Vietnamese queer woman who splits time between Europe và Asia, and your sound would fit very well on American radio. What"s it been like for you?

I"m in Saigon right now, và it"s one of the cities where homophobia và racism has no place. This kind of reminds me of Thủ đô New York a bit to be honest, because I also lived there for almost a year. The culture here molds acceptance for queerness. What I"m seeing is people who have realized, if a person loves another person of the same sex, well does it bởi harm lớn myself? People seem khổng lồ let people live sầu their lives. Plus queer people drive most creative sầu industry here.


We are definitely in a time where queer narratives are visible và expanding. At one point in music, it was revelatory khổng lồ use the pronouns of your partners. It still is. But where are you with that?

To me, it"s not a priority because all my life when anyone would come up khổng lồ me và ask me about my sexuality, my answer would always be I love people, because I know that all kinds of partners that I"ve had so far, male or female or other people of color, any type of people. I get attached to lớn a person from their personality first, & that"s where I"m standing. This tuy vậy as a coming out wasn"t on purpose. I just felt that writing a tuy vậy about a woman in the perspective sầu of another woman where especially in the type where that"s not totally obvious unless you know the language. I was actually thinking whether I should out my sexuality in the tuy vậy or leave sầu it open for discussion. But then I was like, why not? It"s almost 20đôi mươi, we are in this time where I feel like it"s a safer time lớn be yourself than it was 30 or 40 years ago. I also want lớn show other Asian girls out there that it"s okay to lớn be who you are. I know girls in Vietphái nam who have sầu been abandoned by their families for coming out. This is my way of standing with them, too.


So "menimãng cầu," the title of your song, is a Portuguese word that translates to lớn "girl" or "woman," but can be applied in a lãng mạn context. Why Portuguese? Do you speak it?

It"s already confusing as fuck that I"m a Vietnamese girl from Germany and singing in English, I just thought why not just put Portuguese in it. And also from my first single "Purpose," I gathered a couple of very supportive sầu Portuguese friends from Brazil, and I also feel lượt thích that the Brazilian fans deserved that kind of tuy nhiên, especially with the LGBT community in Brazil, & the politicians on top right now. So I just thought why not from some random German-Asian chiông xã, because my whole project is already a question mark, & now bringing in this Portuguese and Brazilian queer twist into lớn it makes it more interesting.


So you"re aiming for global inclusion?

Exactly. Language has built bridges & I feel it most here in Vietnam because I"m pretty fluent in Vietnamese và I feel like I can communicate with local people here much better just based on my Vietnamese skills instead of speaking lớn them in English. There is this language barrier & if you can break this barrier with language itself, it"s something so beautiful. And I"m aware of the fact that in the tuy nhiên my pronunciation of "misteriosa" is not perfect, but if Justin Timberlake can sing "Senorita" the way he sang trọng it, why the fuchồng can"t I bởi vì it? He"s just like some White dude, you know what I mean?


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Who are some of your early influences & what made you realize that you wanted lớn pursue music?

The first person khổng lồ really give sầu me that feeling of "okay when I grow up I want khổng lồ be like this person" was Alicia Keys when i saw her as a six year old và saw her music đoạn phim for "Fallin"," because baông chồng then I just started to lớn take piano lessons, và then this music đoạn Clip had come out, and I knew then I wanted khổng lồ be lượt thích her. She was a confident, beautiful woman who made piano look và sound cool, & it gave sầu me a whole different view on the instrument. Karaoke was also a big part of my childhood, being from a Vietnamese family.

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What has it been lượt thích khổng lồ play shows in your native sầu country?

Singing in Vietnam giới has been a very interesting experience, because I"ve been playing a lot of clubs, & a lot of people lượt thích to lớn get wasted on laughing gas balloons . I"ve sầu had some gigs where people are paying attention, and I see it"s a new thing for them lớn see a Vietnamese person singing in English without a Vietnamese accent. That"s why and how I got more and more shows here, because I stvà out. I recently had a show & after these two girls who were maybe 12 or 13 came up lớn me and said that seeing me play in English made them want to lớn improve their English and study more, và that really touched me. When I was younger, I didn"t have sầu many Asian artists to look up to. Now, there"s a huge K-Pop scene, và you have sầu 88Rising, which is all really great. There hasn"t been anyone quite like me khổng lồ come around yet, especially in the Western world, và that"s something I find really exciting.


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