Myanmar PopThe Myanmar Pop
The Myanmar pop star is preparing for a lyric revolutions
In an extravagant outfit and the voices of a female divera, she is seen as Myanmar's Lady Gaga - a seldom pop actor in a land where many years of solitary music is dependent on strange melodies. Phyu Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein sings Myanmar translation of Bon Jovis "You Give Love A Bad Name" and is famous for her feathery mask, her rhinestone glamor and her drama ballgowns.
However, she flinches the Lady Gaga analogy and says she was shocked with her clothes in an eight-year long careers long before the US celebrity was born. This Myanmar pop vocalist, who was raised as an idolater of distant mega-stars, described decade-long periods of social exclusion as "locked up in a deep, cool cavern.... some poeple all over the globe have not even noticed that we are.
" A 30-year-old, she completed her studies in medicine but gave up her education as a physician because she was repeatedly recognized in hospitals after her TV appearances. "I am still fortunate because I can make a difference in the life of tens of millions in my state. Burma Pop is overwhelmed by replicas of tracks from Celine Dion's powerful melodies to Rod Stewart's hardcore, sometimes incongruent Myanmar music.
Few performers are able to penetrate the nation's majorstream, where unbridled acts of hijacking the musical industries and rigorous censure controls everything from text to outfit. However, radical reform after the end of June's regime increases the prospects for the outside world's impact - and copyrights legislation - and the hope for a revival of the musical community.
Burma has announced that it will be reviewing its copyrights legislation to align it with global conventions, although it is not clear when this trial could take place. Removal may necessitate copying processes to obtain IP owners' permissions to allow their tracks to be translated into Burmese - an encouragement for performers to create their own texts.
However, for the majority of Myanmar's people, pop means that pirate movies and musical clips are sold at the corners of streets. Thein described the pirating as "uncontrollable", with counterfeit prints of her videotapes that undercut the sale of her records, which are sold for about $2.
Myanmar Times journalist Douglas Long said: "There are no people who are willing to support a band or a movie project. "It' s good to see a system where groups will be more at ease, break new grounds or create their own Myanmar scene," he said.
An act that tries to create its own sounds is the Me N Ma Girls, a five-piece girls' group that writes their own English and Burmese tunes, one of which is pushing Myanmar's overseas minority around the globe to come back and develop. Nikki May, her local director in Myanmar, is hoping that her own work will make it easy for the group to grow on the international scene without making it difficult for her to sing unauthorized masters.
"When there are problems with copyrights (musicians) they will never be able to get outside Myanmar, so they will never be able to defend their country," she said. They say that other performers have now begun to say that they will concentrate on originals in the near-term. My N Ma Gals have seen an easier grade when reform flooded the land last year - which means they were the first act to get colored hair in their video.
It' s also hard to get a show in this right-wing nation where girls who play in clubs are compared to the sexual industries, May said. They recently made the headline after an US website declined to mail them the nearly $3,000 they had collected through an on-line call to publish their début record because they feared it would violate US penalties.
As a side effect -- whose drum-less percussionist Tser Htoo practices on a stack of book at home -- is hardly ever remunerated for appearances and Darko C, who calls penalties "lame" because they injure commoners, does a little tailoring to get through. Said the group was dedicated to "playing from the heart" and was a real challange for the country's copywriters.
"but you' re not Shakira or Lady Gaga, or Jon Bon Jovi or Green Day, so who are you?