12 May 2015

Thailand #1: Positive dance songs

Thailand is one of top favourite countries when it comes to music. Third most of music I listen to comes from Thailand. I have so many favourites from there, that it was very hard to choose what to blog about; I have plenty of songs for many, many more posts already and more comes all the time. One thing that I have mentioned many times in this blog is that I am obsessed with girl groups and it is actually the girl groups that I love most about Thai music. But there is also many soloists I like. In this post I will feature one girl group and two soloists.

Wikipedia: Thailand

I must admit that at first I found the Thai language weird and hard to listen to. Though the language is not very flowing, nowdays I find it very interesting and it gives an interesting sound to songs. Obviously languages that do not sound similar to any language you are use to, will sound weird at first, but I do not remember having with any other language as strong reaction as I had with Thai. But now I really love the language and how it sounds like.

Let's get on with the music; Here is the girl group:

Neko Jump. This girl band is a duo formed by twin sisters, who go by stage names Neoy and Jam (real names Warattha and Charattha Imraporn). The sisters were born in 1989 and in their childhood they took singing and dancing lessons and participated in many contests. In 2006 they were signed to Kamikaze, which is a Thai record label, as Neko Jump. They also are signed to a Japanese record label and even though I do not know for sure I am assuming that the group's name got its inspiration from Japan (neko is Japanese for cat).

The song above is called ไม่ถอดใจ (Girls On Top). The Thai part of the title transliterates into Mai Tod Chi and according to Google Translate it means Not Dishearted. The song was released in 2012. For me this was the first Neko Jump song and also one of the first Thai songs that I ever heard, and so forth one of the reasons I got into Thai music.

I really love the song, especially the music. It is very catchy and somehow mysterious. There is some sort of drama and a bit of sweetness, all nicely blend together. And I really like the girls' vocals; I think the softness in this song comes from their voices and the darkness from the music. Very nice combination however it was. I think this is one of my ultimate favourite Thai songs, which is saying a lot since I listen to Thai music so much.

Neko Jump has participated in many projects throughout their careers. Since I do not speak the language, I do not know exactly how popular they are in Thailand, but considering how they have been signed to same label for nearly ten years and how many YouTube views they have, I believe they are fairly successful. Unfortunately it has been hard to find information on them in English, so I can not tell much about them. So let's just enjoy the music.

This other song is called Look สิ!, which means (at least according to Google Translate) Look Yes!, though just สิ seems to mean music. Is this one of those cases when adding a exclamation mark changes the entire meaning of the word or is Google Translate just messed up? Anyways, the song was released in 2013 and it is a catchy dance-pop song.

A big part of Neko Jump's music is ballads, or at least in my mind the group has gotten an image of a ballad group. Even though they have good ballads too, I tend to like more about their uptempo songs. I could be wrong, but I think their older songs are more of ballads and newer ones tend to be uptempo ones. But about the song; Look สิ! is my second favourite Neko Jump song and I find it lots of fun and very catchy. I am not sure if it should be called a summer song, but I find it somehow summery.

ไม่ถอดใจ (Girls On Top) can be found on Neko Jump's mini album Ahhh! and Look สิ! from another mini album called Wake Up Please!

Moving onto a duet by two Thai singers: Ice and Namcha. I am now doing so that I first feature this duet song and then one own song from each of them. I will introduce them in their separate sections, so I will now focus on the song. It is called Double Love and it was released in 2012.

I find this song incredibly happy and it always makes me smile. It is a very cheerful and bright song. I think it is a highly safe guess to say that the lyrics are about love. For me this song sounds a bit summery, but maybe more spring-like. This feeling is carried on by the colourful music video, which brings spring to my mind with the flowers blooming. I really like the music video too since it continues the happy feeling the song itself already gives. I think there is something in both Ice and Namcha that can make you feel cheerful.

Double Love was released on Ice's album รักกันนะ which was released in 2012.

And now the two artists separately:

Ice is the stage name of Saranyu Winaipanit. He is 30 years old singer born in Bangkok. Ice is also known as Ice Saranuy and is nicknamed by his fans as Prince of smile (a title that I could agree on). Ice released his first album in 2006 and he is signed to a label GMM Grammy. So far he has released in total 5 studio albums and has worked together with many famous Thai musicians. I believe he has been quite successful in his career.

The song above is called Miss You. I have not heard all of Ice's music, but I think this song represents his style very well. It is soft and sweet. I am not sure about what I sings of, but his voice floats very nicely (which, like I said in the start, I do not usually find common with Thai songs). The songs is kind of relaxed and easy to listen to, yet it still has lots of emotion to it. Overall it is a very lovely song that gives you (well, at least me) a warm feeling even with such a name. That could be thanks to Ice's lovely voice.

Miss You was released as a single last year (2014) and it will be part of Ice's upcoming sixth studio album.

And now Namcha. There is barely none information on her in English, which is very unfortunate since I like her music a lot. Namcha's real name is Sheranut Yusanonda and she was born in 1988. She is also signed to GMM Grammy and has released two studio albums and participated in some music projects. Besides being a singer, Namcha is also an actress and it looks like her filmography is much larger than her discography.

Namcha's song Fine Fine Fine was released in 2012. It features South Side, which is a Thai hip-hop duo. I do not know much of this featuring duo and since their part in this song is so minor I will just call this Namcha's song. Fine Fine Fine is a dance-pop song (I think) with a strong club feeling.

When I first heard this song I was already a fan of Double Love. I did not actually know it was Namcha since the YouTube video does only show her name in Thai, but my first thoughts were "is this the singer from Double Love?". Watching the video confirmed that it in fact was. Because of this I find that Namcha's singing style and also her looks are quite recognizable. Anyways, I immediately loved this song and I keep listening to it still even though it has been couple of years since I first heard. It is always as catchy and as fun.

Fine Fine Fine was released as a single, but as far as I know it is not part of any album.

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