I can write only when Vitou is sleeping. He is now 1 month and half and his weight is 6 kgs already. He is growing fast!
I was busy with my son and I didn’t write anything seriously lately but I believed you are enjoying posts from Lyda, our new editor.
It was on a bus to Saigon that I have chance to watch music video of Hang Meas production RHM Vol 424. I like the two series of Calltune songs. That was not the first time that I realized their lyrics have been improved. I started to realized since the day I discovered a song sang by Sokun Kanha about an impossible love story. I admired the talent of the writer that could find a simple way to express an impossible and complicated love story. I discovered just after I published the post, some Facebook friends referred me to the Thai original song.
I was a bit disappointed to learned about this. I used to exchange some discussion with people working with Hang Meas. I have asked about their vision if they plan to produce original song. I got confirmation that Hang Meas always encourage their people to produce original song. I am not sure about their target when they are capable to produce 100% original songs. I doubt they also got some difficulties to find good original songs to circle in the market. They might need to mix some original and some copied songs but soon or later they need to stop copy from others. It’s against the International copyright. I believed they understand this point better than me.
I have another chance to read about the new lyric writer of Hang Meas on a magazine while I had lunch in Siem Reap last week. That was a good trace for me to contact the writer. I got his name and have learn a few details about his background and his works as a lyric writer. In fact he is on my Facebook friend list already.
His name is Chanphal Sok. We have exchanged some conversation since yesterday. What make me interesting the most in Chanphal’s lyrics are its simplicities, realistic stories and good harmony of words (I guess we call it verse or poetry) to tell about human feeling.
We have a lot of golden old songs from 60s and 70s but those songs didn’t describe about the current situation anymore. Time passed, the human feeling changed. Those 60s, 70s songs have a very deep meaning of love but the young people of Internet period couldn’t find any good connection between those classic songs and their daily life. The idea is to use some words from those old golden songs to tell about today love story. This is not a simple work to do. I used to sit many nights to write a song lyric, I finally finished up with an empty paper.
Chanphal found his way to do a good projection of classic love story into silly mobile phone generation. “Call Mok Bong Pel Ke Bos Borng Oun” (Call me when he dump you) became quickly a very popular song. Chanphal confirmed me that 100% of the lyric composed by himself but some melodies are original, some are copied.
I love when he used speaking language in his lyrics. Each word he used in his songs have a deep meaning. I don’t know how much time he spent to write a lyric but I am sure he need to spend time to tell a complicated impossible love story in a very simple way. He did a wonderful job. You can find below some of my Q&A with him.
Santel: First, thank you for this lovely song Calltune Dom Nang Jet Smos, does this song is original composed by you? or is it adapted from others?
Chanphal: The lyric is composed by me, but the melody I believed it is original from Vietnam. For this two songs of Calltune, I created the story on my own. I didn’t translate or adapted the story from its original. I think the lyrics I wrote are even better than its original. Hang Meas uses different word if you pay enough attention to the song’s credit. If it is original we use “written by” and if it is copied we use “adapted by”. You may notice that the lyrics I wrote have been credited as: Lyric written by Chanphal Sok.
Santel: How long have you been working for Hang Meas? Sorry to be frank with you, you don’t have to reply if you think it is your privacy, do you feel uncomfortable with the company that still continue to copy songs from others?
Chanphal: I’ve started my work with Hang Meas since 2009 Jan, so it’s over two years now. I am not feel comfortable with it. I am proud that I can compose good and popular lyrics but when I heard people said the melodies are copied from other countries is made me so sad. Since my first song “Chheam Pich” I met this problem. Even I write the lyric in Khmer style but the melody is not original Khmer.
Sometime people need to open their heart and accept the fact that we don’t have many song composers in Cambodia. On the other hand, artists will not exist without supporters. Cambodian copyright law is not practiced yet. It is hard for artists to ear a living from their works, when you can find copied CD everywhere in the market.
I hope government would help to eliminate the piracy in Cambodian market. This would give more opportunities for young artists to rise as we have system that protect their works.
Santel: How many songs have wrote since so far, I believed Calltune is right now a very popular song?
Chanphal: I’ve written over 100 lyrics. Most of the songs I wrote have been well received.
Some of my popular songs are:
- Call Mok Bong Pel Ke Bos Borng Oun,
- Oun Min Call Tov Bong Prous Min Jong Ouy Bong Chir Chab
- Calltune Domnang Jet Smos
- Calltune Som Tos
Santel: To become a writer, do you join the training somewhere or with someone before? I have seen you posted few books, did you write novel and publish book too?
Chanphal: That’s right. I always try my best to develop my writing skill with a lot of people. So far, I have joined Khmer Writer Association, Nou hach Literature Association. In fact I was a novelist before song writer. I like to write book so much and now I just publish a novel is called “Winter Love“.
Santel: The lyric of calltune is very romantic and I like the most when you express “If I cannot become someone you love, let me be the one who love you”. This phrase is simple but it goes from the ears and stays in people’s heart. It expresses how deep love can go. Does the story taken from someone experience or you just create it on observation?
Chanphal: I think I have heard this phrase some time ago, but I don’t remember when or where. It’s all mixed together from my own experiences and on observation the others.
Santel: If someone want to become a song writer, what are the 3 principal things you can advice?
- Don’t create anything that doesn’t exist, look around you and find a realistic story to write.
- Spend time to find the right words, make good harmony and arrange the word to poetry form as much as you can.
- Make it simple and easy to remember and sing !
You can find more information about Chanphal Sok at his personal blog in Khmer