Tossaporn Achawanuntakul was born on 1st October 1985. His nickname is Sin and he was a singer-songwriter of the well-known band Singular. This band was originally a duo with singer Sin and guitarist Chotiwut ‘Nut’ Boonyasit as its members.
Thai singer ‘Sin’ Tossaporn Achawanuntakul (photo: SIN FB page)
Singular was active in the years 2010 to 2013 and its genre may be described as pop, jazz and acoustic. What is more, the band’s style has also been compared to Metro-Acoustic style.
Singular became popular with its first two singles called ‘24/7’ and ‘Bao Bao’. After the band split up in 2013, Sin has pursued his solo career. Thus, last year he introduced his self-written song ‘Goodbye’ which is also his first solo single. This song brings out Sin’s gentle voice which is underlined by violin sounds.
Previously, Sin has also performed with various artists like Thai singer Lula. Thus for instance, they sang a duet called ‘Possible’ (Mai Mee Arai Tee Pen Pai Mai Dai).
What is more, he also sang the title song of the Lakorn Lom Son Rak (The Wind Hides Love) starring popular half-Thai actor Nadech Kugimiya. Producer Nueng Narongvit chose Sin to sing this song because he found his voice that is ‘Gentle like the wind’ fitted the drama perfectly. This song was awarded the most popular song at the EFM Awards.
Sin started singing at the Bangkok Opera choir when he was in junior high school. Thus, he discoved his love for performing taking his time to figure out what his favourite musical styles are. He gets his inspiration mostly from books, reading but also from watching movies and TV.
Sin Singular (photo: topicstock.pantip.com)
Finally, Sin’s secret to entertaining people as a solo artist is to simply be oneself and to have fun. Thus, today he is elaborating on his solo career and calls himself ‘A Song Painter’ which is also the title of his new Live Showcase.
Ice Sarunyu: The Prince of Smiles
Saranyu Winaipanit is a talented young singer who was born in September 1984 in Chainat, Thailand. He is also an actor, DJ and model. His love for entertaining has brought him the nickname ‘The Prince of Smiles’ and of course, he is known as Ice Sarunyu.
Ice Sarunyu – The Prince of Smiles*
The Story of Ice Sarunyu
His parents are Thai teachers and when Ice was young, he was kind of an academic kid indulging in his studies. However, he has always loved to entertain people. Hence, at school he engaged in activities like being a reporter, presenter or announcer. In school he liked social studies and history in particular.
Ice has also always loved movies and became interested in acting, thus taking the role of other characters and understanding their intentions. Hence, he has been in some Thai lakorns and movies. For instance, he was in the movie Superstar Stawberry: Movie on TV (2010) and in the TV dramas Duay Rang Hang Ruk (CH 7 2006) and Gong Jak Lai Dok Bua (CH 3 2007).
By the way, if he could chose one actor or actress to work with it would be Thai-Swedish actress and princess of Thai entertainment Ann Thongprasom. Ice himself studied at Sinakarinwirot University, Faculty of fine arts and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Acting and Directing.
Ice Sarunyu Winaipanit *
In 2003 he won a competition at the first stage project show and that is how he got into the music business. He performed with many different Thai singers like Palitchoke Ayanaphutra (Peck) and Pongsak Rattanaphong (Aof). They have released an album called ‘Together’ and were in the ‘We R One’ Concert (2008).
Thai singer Ice Sarunyu*
Ice sees himself primarily as a singer. He loves to sing in every mood and in every situation of his life if happy or sad. However, ‘professionally’ his songs are mostly feel-good pop music. Thus, in 2006 his debut album called ‘ICE’ was released along with the single “Kon Jai Ngai” under the label Thai GMM Grammy.
What is more, he released a Japanese version of the song named “Koi Nanja Nai”. In 2007, his second album ‘Party on Ice’ followed and in 2008 ‘ICE Kool Hits’ were released. This album comprises all songs from his two previous albums. Afterwards, Ice also toured through the USA where he performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Hence, his most recent albums are ‘ICE Festa’ (2010) and Rak Kan Na (รักกันนะ) (2012).
Finally, we may say that Ice Sarunyu is a young man of many talents and and amazing singer. Charmingly, he also likes collecting everything that has to do with the Thai buffalo (Kwaai). He thinks that the buffalo is a beautiful and sweet animal.
(*all pictures in this post, credit: Ice Sarunyu FB page)
Two Popetorn – Thai R&B Artist
Popetorn Soonthornyanakij, born 1980 in Bangkok, is a versatile R&B and pop singer who has also done some acting in the TV drama Club Friday the Series and worked as a judge on The Voice Kid Season I. His stage- and nickname is ‘2’ (Two). Hence, Two began making music as a kid around the age of five. He first learned the basics of music and began playing keyboard at Yamaha School of Music.
R&B Singer Two Popetorn
Two Popetorn (photo credit: music.truelife.com)
He favours R&B and Motown. Thus, he loves old songs from this era and it shows in his own songs as well. He once said in an interview that this is music which is sincere and charming to him.
After his parents separated, he moved with his mother and sibling to California in the USA. At that time he was a young teenager. After finishing high school, Two attended the Academy of Entertainment in Santa Monica to study computer animation and after graduating from this school, he worked part time as a singer at a friend’s restaurant in Hollywood. At first, singing was merely for fun but later it became his job.
Artist Two (photo credit: news.you2play.com)
Hence, he met Boyd Kosiyabong who is a well-known Thai singer, songwriter and music producer who is the founder of the Thai music label “LOVEiS” . Meanwhile, Two also founded the band ‘Sunday School’. However, he describes getting acquainted with Boyd Kosiyabong as the peak of his career. Hence, he was chosen to sing with Boyd at a Christian charity concert in Los Angeles. Eventually, Boyd asked Two to perform the song ‘What Will I Do’ on his album Rhythm & Boyd Eleventh (2006) in Thailand. This song was highly ranked in Thai pop music charts.
This was the start of Two’s success as a singer. Thus, following his first real hit single, he was for instance featured in a song called “Wherever With You” for a Chevrolet Thailand”s ad campaign. What is more, he also featured “The Sound of Your Heart” for a Select Tuna commercial. In the time following, Boyd and Two worked together on numerous songs and Boyd realized Two’s potential as a songwriter and producer. Thus, Boyd encourage him to produce a Pop-R&B song called ‘Move On’ for the album ‘The Strangers’. Additionally, Two also performed the song ‘Cold Winter’ from the same album. There have also been further collaborations with other artists, for instance with the band Endorphine.
Since then, Two has been writing and producing many songs for himself and for other artists. Thus, he has been also frequently featured in songs for TV series and commercials. For example, he perfomed “Your Garden,” written by prominent songwriter Neung Narongvit, for the soundtrack of the recent TV drama, Nai Suan Kwan (In the Garden).
Summing up, we may say that in spite of his growing popularity and success, Two Popetorn remains laid-back, modest and keeps on improving his music and enjoying the meaningful things in life.
Room 39: Thai Band
Room 39 is a very popular Thai accoustic band that was originally based in Los Angeles, USA. The band has three members called Chutimon “Mon” Vichitrissadee , Isara “Tom” Kitnitchee and Olran “Wan Yai” Chujai. The special feature of this trio is that they literally became successful overnight having a viral success with their YouTube music videos.
Thai band Room 39
Back in LA they performed their songs, which were mainly covers, at their friend’s, Baworn “Opac” Abhaiwong, apartment. This is also how the band got it’s name since the friend’s apartment was called Room 39.
Actually, the band’s members met in Los Angeles but everyone of them was born in Thailand. For instance, Mon grew up in Bangkok. Later after studying in Japan and working in Thailand, Mon decided to go move to Los Angeles in order to study marketing and the University of California.
Tom got in touch with the entertainment industry early. He was a child actor on Channel 3’s drama Ruen Mayura. Thus, Tom continued working as a young actor until the age of sixteen. Then he moved with his family to LA. Wan Yai, born in Saraburi, first studied psychology at Srinakharinwirot University before moving to LA where he studied Engineering and Technology at California State University of Los Angeles. In the evening he would make music at bars .
Tom, Mon and Wan Yai, band members of Room 39
The trio met and got together at Krueng Tate Restaurant. At first, Tom and Wan Yai played music there. The latter also performed with Thai R&B singer Two Popetorn there. Eventually they met Mon who then became the female singer of the band. The trio is mainly known for its amazing cover versions of popular Thai but also of English songs like this John Legend song called ‘All of me’.
They brought their sound back to Thailand after receiving an invitation by Thai music producer Boyd Kosiyabong. The trio covered songs by Boyd and he very much liked their music. Room 39 think their success is due to the fact that people like to listen to accoustic songs and to cover versions.
The trio Room 39
Today, after a few years in the music business, Room 39 is still going strong. Thus, recently they have launched a new single called ‘Can you handle it?’
Finally, we may say that Room 39 is an amazing Thai band that realized the dream of becoming successful overnight on the internet.
(all photos in this post, credit: Room 39, FB page)
My Top 5 Thai Singers: Number One Is Palmy
Indeed, this year there has been a lot of music on Sirinya’s Thailand blog. Thus, I feel inspired to do a Top 5 of my favourite Thai singers 🙂 Actually, this proved to be a hard tasks because there are so many Thai musicians and singers that I like. However, I’ve tried to narrow them down to my Top 5 at the moment.
My Top 5 Thai Singers
My number one is defintely Thai-Belgian singer Palmy. I really love her style and her way of performing. In most concerts she performes barefoot and this is also her signature feature.
Thai-Belgian singer Palmy (photo: Palmy FB page)
What is more, Palmy, Eve Pancharoen, is so unique because on the one side her style has a 1960s touch but on the other side she is very modern, rocking but also melancholic sometimes. In a nutshell, Palmy is charming, amiable and true to herself.
For number two I chose Singto Numchok who is known as Buriram’s Ukulele Lion 🙂 I truly enjoy his feel-good music and the way he combines cool jazz rhythms with surf-rock and pop.
Singto Numchok (photo: Singto Numchok FB page)
In addition Thai singer Singto Numchok is also an example of how to escape poverty by becoming a famous and successful musician. His trademark is the ukulele but he also plays the guitar. Indeed, his relaxed sounds may also be called chill-out music.
Well, my number three is a band. Can you guess which one? Yeah, it’s Thai Hip Hop band Buddha Bless. I think they really make great songs and music with a message.
Thai Hip Hop band Buddha Bless (photo: Buddha Bless Official FB page)
Buddha Bless members Gaotong, Gui Oui and Goh-M might appear a bit crazy sometimes but their music is special and thus their lyrics were even awarded by Thailand’s Buddhist Council. Sometimes Buddha Bless seems over the edge and ‘out of control’ (like their latest song) but they like to create songs with messages in accordance with Buddhist thought.
For number four I chose Lula (Kanyarat Tiyapornchai). She is known as a bossa nova queen and her songs range from ballads to pop songs and also electro pop music. Lula has perfomed duets with many other popular Thai singers and what is more, she has also worked on soundtracks and theme songs for Thai TV series and films.
Last but not least, for number five I decided to choose an artist about whom I have not written an article yet.
Thai singer Bell Supol (photo: Bell Supol FB page)
It’s Bell Supol and I chose him because he sung a wonderful jazzy song that I’ve loved for years. I’ve certainly watched the video to the song a 100 times or more 😉 Let’s enjoy this song!
Finally, I may say that my number one among the Top 5 Thai Singers will ‘always’ remain Palmy! What are your favourite Thai artists?
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej & His Music
In honour of the auspicious occasion of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s (King Rama IX) Birthday on 5th Dezember, I’d like to focus on and honour his musical talent and accomplishment. Being a talented musician, His Majesty is also referred to as the ‘Musical Monarch’.
H.M King Bhumibol Adulyadej
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, portrait from 1946 (photo: wikimedia.org)
Thus, H.M. King Bhumibol is known as a great jazz saxophone player and composer. In addition, he also plays many other musical instruments like the piano, the clarinet, trumpet and the guitar. Only few people know that His Majesty has composed 49 songs among them ‘Candlelight Blues’, ‘Falling Rain’ (Sai Fon) and ‘Love at Sundown’ which are his most popular musical pieces.
In particular, ‘Love at Sundown’ which has a foxtrot rhythm became a top hit for Thai people. However, ‘Falling Rain’ is also an all-time favourite song. These songs were composed in 1946 and are in the genre of jazz swing. What is more, the King has also written Thai patriotic songs and marches among others.
Photograph of Bhumibol and Sirikit of Thailand on their wedding 28 April 1950 (photo credit: wikimedia.org)
His Majesty’s musical compositions have been mainly influenced by legends like Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, Sidney Bechet and Johnny Hodges. Thus, in his younger days, the King also performed with well-known musicians like Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Benny Carter. At that time, His Majesty’s favourite musical style was Dixie Land Jazz.
In his youth, King Bhumibol was studying in Switzerland where he received his first music lessons. The musical talent of the ‘little Prince’ was early discovered. His brother who was at that time King Ananda Mahidol also made music and later they would perform together – King Ananda on the clarinet and Bhumibol on the saxophone. At first, the two bought a second-hand saxophone for 300 francs 🙂
King Ananda Mahidol and Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1946 (photo: wikimedia.org)
After King Bhumibol returned to Thailand in 1950, he launched a jazz band called Lay Kram. He perfomed with this band on the Palace Radio Station and as his band became more successful and grew, it was renamed as the Au Sau Wan Suk Band. His Majesty would perform each Friday evenings with his band and they also played at Thai universities. Hence, the King also wrote the anthems for Chulalongkorn, Thammasat and Kasetsart University.
It is also important to note that King Bhumibol performed with jazz legend Benny Goodman (the King of Swing Jazz) in Bangkok as well as in New York where Goodman was at home. This was in the late 1950s to 1960s. There is also a documentary film about His Majesty and his music called ‘Gitarajan’ (1996). I truly recommend you watch this documentary, if you are interested in His Majesty’s jazz music and education. What is more, there are also some interesting early and historical recordings of King Bhumibol.
His Majesty also received a number of awards for his musical accomplishment. For instance, he received the honorary membership of Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts in 1964. Later in 2000, King Bhumibol got the Sanford Medal from Yale School of Music and in 2003 he received the honorary doctorate in music from the University of North Texas College of Music.
King Bhumibol with his mother and his elder sister at Villa Vadhana, 1945 (photo: Bureau of the Royal Household, Kingdom of Thailand, wikimedia.org)
Finally, we may say that H.M. King Bhumibol has been a great musician and we should honour his musical accomplishment. Today, in honour of his 88th Birthday on 5th December 2015, there will be many activities in Thailand to celebrate the King’s Birthday. For instance, there will be a bike ride called ‘Bike For Dad’ for His Majesty on 11th December. Thai people from 70 countries are expected to join their compatriots in Thailand to bike ride for King Bhumibol.
Aof Pongsak Rattanaphong: Thai Singer & Actor
Pongsak Rattanaphong was born in March 1985 in Chiang Mai to Thai-Chinese parents. He is a popular Thai singer in the genres pop and R&B. Additionally, he is also an actor. His stage name and nickname is Aof. Today, he is under contract to GMM Grammy and GMM A.
Aof Pongsak Rattanaphong
Aof Pongsak Rattanaphong*
Aof gained much of his popularity through the first season of the Thai reality show and singing contest True Academy Fantasia. He won the contest in 2005. Since then he has acquired a decade of singing experience, becoming a masterful ballad singer. Thus, in 2010 he was awarded the best male singer at the Season Awards.
His songs are mostly very emotional and sensitive and Aof is known for his soft and smooth voice. He once said in an interview that it is his aim to make the audience feel emotional and experience what he is singing about. Thus, he sings with great passion, energy and fervour 🙂
In 2009, he had his debute in his musical, Lom Haichai, the Musical (The Breath). This musical is based on the songbook of Boyd Kosiyabong who is a renowned Thai singer-songwriter. Apart from singing, Aof has been acting in a few dramas and a movie. Hence, he was in the film Ghost Game (2006) and in the dramas Thee Trakoon Song (Ch. 2006), Artitan Ruk (Ch. 5 2008) and Plerng Torranong (Ch. 3 2011).
Predominantly, the songs in his albums express deep feelings and different emotions. Hence, the album ‘Illusion of love’ is a case in point. It features songs like “Khong Tai (Doormat),” “Rueng Jing Ying Kwa Niyai (Reality Is More Dramatic than a Novel)” and “Kwam Jeb Young Kong Hai Jai (Pain Hasn’t Gone Away Yet).”
Thai Singer: Aof Pongsak*
Aof is openly gay.Thus, he came out in April 2013, after some years of speculation but he guessed that his fans already knew anyway. Hence, gay relationships are also a subject of his songs. For instance, “Rueng Jing Ying Kwa Niyai (Reality Is More Dramatic than a Novel)” is about the breaking up of a homosexual relationship.
Most of the songs have subtitles in Chinese, Japanese and English. In fact, Aof also has many fans from China and other Asian countries since his previous hit “Tang Khang Lang Taloo Tueng Huajai (Stabbing in the Back and Through the Heart)” was released in Chinese language for the soundtrack of a Taiwanese TV drama “Love 18” starring Thai-French singer and actor Chin Chinawut as Joshua.
Summing up, we may say that after releasing several albums, Aof Pongsak Rattanaphong is renowned in the Thai entertainment industry. However, he remains laid-back and modest. Thus, he does not expect to be famous but is content if there are producers who are happy to work with him 🙂
*photo credit: Aof Pongsak Rattanaphong, FB page
Katreeya English: Thai-British Singer & Actress
Katreeya English was born in September 1976 to a British father and a Thai mother in Oxford, England. Hence, Kat English is fluent both in Thai and in English. She started her career as a singer in 1999 and was a very popular face of the new millenium. Kat’s musical style may be described as pop and of course as Thai pop. She was an artist at GMM Grammy from 1999 to 2009.
Kat English (photo: lostinheaven, sharerice.com)
Apart from being a singer and dancer, Kat is also a successful actress, model and presenter. From 2000 to 2007 she produced a new album every year. Hence, her sound deeply influenced Thai pop of the 2000s like this song called ‘Siamese Kat’ (2003).
When she was a teen, she was discovered by an agent when she walked home from school with her brother. This was when Kat got into making her first commercials and thus her first movie also followed. In 1992, she appeared in the films called ‘A-nueng Kit-teung por Sang-keb’ and ‘Chem laew kor Cham’. However, I find that she is a singer in the first place. Here is one of her very early songs from the 2001 album ‘Kat around the clock’.
From that time on, Kat has had many roles in Thai TV series on Channel 3 and 7. Thus, she had her first break with her early Lakorns in the 1990s like Khun Ying Jom Kaen (1993) in her role of Lady Kantima and Nam Sai Jai Jing from the same year.
Kat loves entertaining people and she truly enjoys being famous and a role model for kids. It is important to her that she is able to do the things that she loves doing. She is a great performer and loves big concerts. Thus, Kat has been in Thailand’s biggest concerts of course.
However, Kat did not becomes famous overnight. When she thinks back at her early career she describes it as enjoyable but also stressful. Thus, her success developed gradually and she got to appreciate the different stages of her career. Well, Katreeya never seems to be aging. She is also a model and keeps fit by doing a lot of sports like swimming and gynmastics and she loves working out.
Katreeya English could be a fitness model (photo: women.sanook.com)
Until today, she is good friends with other actors like Chakrit Yamnarm (Krit) and half-Thai-Scottish actor Ray McDonald since they went to school together. For instance, their friends used to refer to Chakrit and her as KitKat.
Finally, we may say that Katreeya English is really a great and versatile performer. Her dancing skills are amazing. Today, she is still energetic and going strong in the enertainment industry.
Jay Montonn Jira: Thai-American Singer & Actor
Jay Montonn Jira is a Thai-American singer and actor. In fact, he is also called a show business ‘allrounder’ with good reason. Born in November 1981 in Hong Kong, he returned to Thailand as a kid with his family and went to school there until grade 11. Then he moved to California to complete high school.
Jay Montonn Jira
Thai-American singer & actor Jay Montonn Jira*
However, in his youth, he already won a talent competition at the age of ten. Since then he has been working in the Thai entertainment industry. By the age of 13, Jay was also doing some modelling and a few years later when he was 17, he was a lead actor in Thai TV series and movies.
However, Jay sees himself primarily as a musician and has been pursuing his musical career for some years now. He recorded his first album after completing high school and returning to Thailand. The album is called ‘J’.
What is more, he is also a DJ, arranger, composer and producer. Nevertheless, Jay acted in a number of Lakorns where he played both good and bad guys. For instance, he was in the drama ‘Sai Tarn Hua Jai’ with Ae Isariya Saisanan on Channel 7.
Jay Montonn Jira*
Another drama Jay was in is ‘Look Poo Chai Hua Jai Petch’ starring alongside singer Hugo Chakrabongse Levy and Namfon Kullanat. In addition, Jay starred in the Thai movie ‘Pop Star’ (2006). As far as films are concerned, Jay has also written movie scores. For instance, he was an assitant editor for the ‘Lion King’.
In fact, he studied music composition and electronic music production in the US. In 2007 he was the musical director and programmer for Neptune. Thus, he toured around the world performing with international stars like Jusitin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. This was also when he performed at ‘Live Earth’, a gigantic concert event in New Jersey.
Jay Montonn Jira*
However, he has also worked with Thai artists like Modern Dog, Siam Secret Service and The Crub, for instance. Today, he has his own music label called ‘Samut Prakarn Sound’. Most recently, he is performing with Hanna L. Bengtsson producing charming and beautiful songs like ‘The Way’ and ‘Be True’.
Finally, we may say that Jay Montonn Jira is an international half-Thai artist. Even though he is a great actor, he sees himself primarily as a musician with good reason and sings both in English and in Thai.
Thaitanium – Thai-American Hip Hop Band
Friends of Thai Hip Hop and Rap music will certainly know the group ‘Thaitanium‘ (ไทยเทเนี่ยม) which was formed in 2000. ‘Khan’ Khanngoen Nuanual (King of Da Hustle) and ‘Day’ Nay Myo Thant (Sunny Day) were born in Thailand, whereas the third and youngest member of the band ‘Way’ Prinya Intachai (P. Cess) was born and raised in New York. Most recently, in 2014 the group was awarded the 16th Mnet Asian Music Award for the Artist of the Year in Thailand.
Khan and Day came to San Francisco as teenagers and pursued their dream to become successful musicians. Hence, at first both of them formed a DJ/MC duo in the underground San Francisco Hip Hop scene. During that time, Khan became acquainted to the young artist Way. Hence, the idea of a three-men Thai-American Hip Hop group was born.
Thus, they rapidly produced their first two albums called ‘AA’ and ‘Thai Riders’ which they promoted themselves. During that time they also featured the soundtrack to the Thai film Province 77 starring Thai-American actor Pete Thongjure which deals with Thai immigrants living in Los Angeles.
Their following albums ‘P77’ and ‘RAS’ (Resisting Against Da System) were finally distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Thus, the Thai entertainment industry, GMM Grammy, also became interested in the group. Actually, the attention and the resulting partnership with Grammy provided the band with independence because they gained the publishing rights to their own songs under the label ‘Thaitanium Entertainment INC.’ Therefore, their album ‘Thailand’s Most Wanted’ (2006) was in fact the first Thai Hip Hop album released by an independent label.
Today, Thaitanium might even be called a group of international range because their popularity is not limited to Thailand. Hence, they give concerts in many different countries, for example in the USA , the UK, Australia, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Thaitanium (photo credit: wikilenda.com)
In addition, they cooperate with a variety of artists. For instance, they performed with M-Flo from Japan and invited the American Hip Hop band NAS. What is more, they have had numerous guest appearances with renowned Thai artists like half-Thai pop star Tata Young, popular Thai rapper Joey Boy and Bank Clash for instance.
Additionally to making music, the Thaitanium members have been engaged in a variety of other projects. For example, Khan and Day started their own clothing line called ‘9Face’ and Way was in the 2010 US movie ‘Prince & Me 4’. In fact, Thaitanium Inc. seems to dominate the Thai Hip Hop scene today. Apart from studio albums, they also have created six compilation up until now. I think that part of their success is due to the fact that Thaitanium has cooperated with a great number of other famous artists like the legendary Thai rock band Carabao. for instance.
Summing up, we may say that Thaitanium is with good reason the most prominent Thai Hip Hop group. What is more, they also feature several upcoming Thai musicians and make the most of all aspects of Thai Hip Hop and Rap.