Hisham Shah is no doubt the pioneer of Digipost and the post-production industry in Vietnam. A seasoned musician, he set up and designed the 2 audio studios in Digipost, supervising the construction from the very beginning. Not many musicians can claim they built the studio that they are working in.
As part of our 7th year anniversary tribute, he now offers insights on his experience in the music industry in Vietnam.
How is the music industry developing in Vietnam in the 7 years you have been here?
“Definitely there is progress but there is still room for growth if we compare to the music industry in other countries. There have been major improvement in the quality of music videos with the influx of young and emerging new talents. However there is no clear diversity in the genre of music. There must be a concerted effort focus to develop more on the solo artists/bands. “
What are the major developments since you started the studio?
“When we started, it was only me manning the fort with a studio and two recording rooms. Over the years, we converted one of the recording rooms to a second studio to cope with the growing number of projects. Also we now have not one but three in-house music composers, including a Vietnamese composer to boost our ability to provide for the market.”
Are there better and more local musicians now in the market?
“There has always been great, talented musician around in Vietnam. They even have a Music Conservatory here! The problem is that they are not exposed to the industry and most importantly there is no platform for them to showcase their real talents. Their common exposure as a musician is to play in pubs where they need to adhere to the mainstream type of music, which makes them a typecast musician.”
Are there better projects now that challenges the musicians creatively?
“There is and will always be projects that are musically challenging in an emerging market like Vietnam. The problem is not about the concept of any projects but in the budget, the process and the execution.”
What are the challenges for the future of the music industry in Vietnam?
“Firstly the industry has to accept competition so we can gauge ourselves and improve.
Next, we need to create more platforms for the development and exposure of talents, either from band, singing, song writing competitions; live music programs or channels.
Thirdly, we need to embrace and cultivate new ideas, genres of music, and stray away from the typical typecast songs.
Lastly, there needs to be support from relevant authorities, the masses and fellow artists. There must be a concerted collaboration and respect of one another to generate and harvest growth.”
As one of the pioneers here in Digipost, what do you think of the future prospects?
“In my personal opinion, what Digipost have is reliability, strength in depth, experience and also an acceptance in the industry. It has the potential to guide the industry to be as competitive and dominant in the region. However there needs to be a concerted effort and support from the whole industry to achieve that goal.
I have been in Digipost for 7 years. We have always been planning for the leap… and I believe the time has come.”