SF State student excited about her first album release

Growing up in a household filled with musicians, SF state communication major Quyne Vu was bound to pick up the music gene.

Her mother, Theresa Nguyen, sings and plays the piano, her father, Anthony Vu plays the guitar and her brother, Ken Joseph Vu enjoys playing the drums.

“We all have our main instrument but we like to dabble in each other’s instruments sometimes.   It’s the glue that keeps us together,” said Vu.

She has now taken her love for music and transformed it into a music career. She is releasing an album/extended play (EP) of five songs called ‘It’s a wacky world,’ which will be available on iTunes Dec. 28.

Vu’s connection to music started young; her parents claim her first words even involved music.

“Because my parents would sing lullabies to me with my dad playing the guitar and instead of speaking my first words, I would mimic their lullabies right back but in baby language,” she said.

As a child, Vu loved singing Disney songs but it wasn’t until she was 12-years-old, when she started to take music more seriously after her parents enrolled her into a local jazz program.

She began touring around the bay area to perform with her group and grew to enjoy jazz.

“It was a great experience to know what it’s like to get up on the road all the time,” She continued. “I ended up falling in love with jazz, I thought it was old people’s music before but then I really starting to like it.”

Now Vu dabbles in all different types of genres and describes her music as Ed Sheeran ese, but claims jazz will always be heard in her music because of that experience.

Another musical influence for Vu is a singer and former American Idol contestant, Dalton Rapattoni, who invited her to his Texas show on Dec 28. in 2014, the same day her album will be released.

“ I encountered his music when he was still underground, and had this eye-opening experience. His stuff is just so raw and so true to himself,” she said.

Vu has been writing since 2010 but suffered a writer’s block in 2014. After meeting Rapattoni, the pen began to flow again.

“I was so inspired that I kept writing and I haven’t stopped since I met him in Texas; That to me was the catalyst of my album,”she said. “That’s why I’m releasing my album Dec. 28, because that’s when I met my idol.”

Quyne Vu poses for a portrait on the peak of the Cesar Chavez building at SF State on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress)

Vu describes her writing style as different because it changes with every song. She believes the lyrics are the start,  and the melody comes later.

“I come up with the lyrics before I come up with the composition. I just form the composition entirely around the lyrics because to me music is all about the story,” she explained.

As Vu began to start her album, she started looking for a producer. The first two producers didn’t work out the way she hoped, which made her hesitant to meet her current producer, Vijay Jayant. After spending studio time together, Vu knew she wanted to start  ‘It’s a wacky world’ with him.

“He amazed me,” she said. “This whole process was all about who could really capture what’s in my head and onto tracks. Vijay was just able to do that and more.”

Jayant believes they share the same work ethic and musical taste, which makes working together easy.

“Her and I both take our work very seriously and dedicate a lot of our energy to the art we create, and knowing that we share the same ideologies behind our music helped streamline the recording process,” he said via email.

Vu pitched 10 songs to Jayant and they settled on five that they felt fit the essence of the project.

‘Think’ is the first song off the album and was written for Vu’s ex-boyfriend as a valentine’s gift. The end of the song also includes her ex’s reaction to hearing the song for the first time to close out the song.

“It was so much better than any love or cliché love song I’ve ever written,” She said. “I added a lot of humor to it because just for me I like to mash comedy with music and when you guys hear the track, it’ll be his genuine reaction to the song himself.”

After having a hard time finding the right song to round out the album, Vu wrote ‘Exeunt’ and knew it was the perfect fit.

“I found closure when writing it. I cried when I first heard it completed. I felt like it was my best work. I immediately sent it to Vijay and said ‘This is the song. This is the fifth track,’” she said.

‘Exeunt’ came after a break up and helped Vu close a chapter  of her first serious relationship.

“I wanted to marry someone for first time in my entire life. One thing about that was that I wasn’t broken after the relationship. I just wanted him to be happy, I wanted us both to be happy, ” Vu said.

Friend and publicist, Adrian Cuevas believes that Vu’s music reminds him of home-cooked meals.

“There’s a difference in a home-cooked meal and going out to get food. It’s kind of like that with her music, It’s easy to get soaked up and attached to it. I really can relate to it,” said the senior communication major.

Cuevas will also be hosting Vu’s show on Dec. 27, at the venue Angelica’s in Redwood City at 7 p.m. to kick off her album release.

Vu plans on continuing her music career or becoming a professor but hopes to always send people places with her songs.

“To me it’s not about having the spotlight, it’s the connection, sharing my art and being vulnerable in front of an audience while also allowing others to be vulnerable as well,” she said.

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