Thao Nguyen of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on How Her Dad Influenced Her New Album | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, April 21st, 2024  

Thao Nguyen of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on How Her Dad Influenced Her New Album

A Man Alive Out Now via Ribbon Music

Apr 28, 2016 Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Bookmark and Share

When we asked Thao Nguyen of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down to take part in one of our recurring guest blog series, instead she decided to pen a more personal piece about the inspiration behind the band’s new album, A Man Alive, which came out last month via Ribbon Music. Nguyen grew up in Falls Church, VA but is based in San Francisco. She recorded the album with tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus. Read on as Nguyen discusses the parental influence on A Man Alive:

Last month we released our fifth record, A Man Alive. It’s about my relationship with my dad, and how our turbulent history and estrangement has informed my whole life. I was quite reluctant to show such vulnerability. Most practically speaking, I worried about doing press for the record and getting emotional with strangers, and performing live and getting emotional on-stage in front of strangers.

But lately I’ve been learning what others already knowstrangers don’t mind. Rather, they open up to you, they recognize basic building blocks in you that everyone should have. Showing emotion makes you less strange. I’ve been gliding under this veneer for a long time, unready to say exactly what I mean, choosing acrobatics and vague sentiment over honest statement. I have not, until this record, been willing to show this particularly deep sadness. I come from stoic stock; we like to talk about how dinner was and what dinner is tomorrow. Somehow, along the way, my sensitive songwriter side won and I began to embrace the entire process of excavating grief and peering into it.

I’ve been making records for more than 10 years now, and doing press has never been more gratifying. The music writer and I, so long separated by professional constraints, perhaps now speak candidly about how hard family is. I make jokes about how they should bill me for our therapy session, maybe they share a bit more of themselves than they normally would.

I’m of course nervous to sing such vulnerable songs live, but I’ve also never been more excited to perform. I’m happy and relieved to be extending a newfound part of myself to our audiences, and I hope they will extend a bit more of themselves to meseeing as how we are, by now, familiar strangers.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.