First Cambodian Music Festival Makes A Stand

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Official Cambodian Music Festival Photo

PHNOM PENH, August 4,  (Khmer Times) –  “The inception of an event like the Cambodian Music Festival is pivotal to the younger generations,” said Sorany Var, host of the first Cambodia Music Festival, held Sunday August 3, at the Ford Theater in Hollywood, California.
Var believes the Cambodian Music Festival will help rebuild the Khmer music scene. After the loss of so many musical legends like Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea etc, the effort to rebuild a strong musical era is now blossoming. These nostalgic melodies have help influence today’s Cambodian music scene.
The festival will showcase the next generation of Khmer music. Var thinks that the “1.5 generation” of Cambodian Americans and other diaspora now see that their stories are worthy of acknowledgement. 
Var noticed how some artists’ stories “document the gritty realities of growing up in gang-infested projects, where Cambodian refugees first settled after immigrating to the US in the early to mid-1980’s”. 
“Many of my peers have had difficulty reconciling their dual identity and honoring their family’s histories,” Var confides, “but from the walls of Angkor we have proof that our people have always been innately artistic.” She hopes the music festival will create its own mark by combining the two cultures and pave a path for a new era of original creation.
The first Cambodian Music Festival will showcase many Cambodian Americans like singers Laura Mam, Bochan Huy, rapper Khmer1Jivit and international band, Dengue Fever. Cambodia’s famous film maker, Sok Visal and DJ Peanut have already arrived at the festival. Next festival, they hope to showcase more talents from Cambodia.

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