R&B singer Thuy has had an amazing journey. She’s been making music over for over a decade, but her career has exploded over the last two years as she’s been able to reach new fans via Tik Tok. Her latest EP “Girls Like Me Don’t Cry” is just another win for the singer as she’s been able to headline her own tour off the success of that project. We had a chance to talk to Thuy about her music, her growth as an artist as well as her journey releasing music independently.
YouKnowIGotSoul: We first posted your music about three years ago. In that time, you’ve been able to develop a big following and you’re now headlining your own tour. What does that all feel like in real time as you’re experiencing it?
Thuy: It feels weird because I don’t really feel like it’s something that happened overnight. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years, so I just saw gradual changes. I think from somebody that saw me from the beginning and then stopped, this seems like it happened all of a sudden, so for me I’ve just been really in it. I’m so involved in what I do in every aspect, so I just feel like because I’m just so in it, I don’t see anything different. It’s really cool and it seems really organic.
YouKnowIGotSoul: As you were building yourself as an artist early on, I’m sure you made a lot of mistakes along the way. What was that journey like for you?
Thuy: The thing is that I changed so many careers in my life. I worked in so many different offices and a lot of times, I was underqualified for a lot of things that I did, but because I learned so fast, a lot of doctors used to put a lot of trust in me to help them with procedures because I was so resourceful and willing to learn. I’ve always taken that into my music like “I don’t know this, but I’m going to figure out a way to do this”. My team and I wear so many different hats and we’re all willing to do whatever it takes which makes it so easy for us to reach our goals because everyone is so invested and they share the same mindset as me. We don’t know the answer to this, but we’re going to figure it out along the way and I feel like that’s the fun part. That’s the journey.
YouKnowIGotSoul: The storytelling aspect of your music always stood out to us. How much of a struggle was it for you to be so vulnerable with your music?
Thuy: Yeah because growing up, I wasn’t really much of a person that used her voice a lot. I always felt I had to be submissive and not really talk about sex or relationships. In music, I was able to channel that inner strength and use my voice for something good. I think my music helps people a lot and I get a lot of messages that it has gotten them through a lot of tough chapters in their lives. Music for me got me through some tough chapters as well. It’s all really cool to see with me being vulnerable leading to others also being vulnerable. They feel like they have that strength to use their voice because for a really long time, I didn’t have that. It was something I felt really shy about just because of the way I grew up.
YouKnowIGotSoul: The upbringing that you had relates with a lot of people. Not only are you focusing on the music, you’re also figuring out how you’re going to sustain financially.
Thuy: My biggest advice would be not to quit your day job without having it together. I quit my 9-5 less than a year ago, but you have to be willing to grind every single day. You have to work every after your 9-5 is over and then it gets to a point financially where you can quit your 9-5 and you can put all your energy into this. If you want it, you have to work hard because a lot of people have talent, but not a lot of people are willing to put in the time and effort. It was so many sleepless nights. We still don’t sleep because we’re just working all the time. We have such a small team and we feel like we have to do whatever it takes. We’re hard workers and at the core, you have to be a hard worker.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about the growth you’ve experienced through Tik Tok because it’s really expanded your fanbase.
Thuy: I’m so grateful for Tik Tok. At first, I remember looking at Tik Tok and saying “That’s for the little kids” and I didn’t understand there was a place for musicians. My manager told me to post a Tik Tok a week and I was like “That’s too much”. She was like “People post multiple times a day” and now here I am posting so much all the time because it’s such a fun way to interact with your fans. That’s what really helped elevate me to the next level and I just feel like once I stopped thinking that I was too good for something or that it wouldn’t be me, I just tried it and saw so much growth from it. Don’t sleep on a platform and start when it’s small. Put yourself out there even when it’s scary. Each time you do it, you’ll overcome that fear just a little more.
YouKnowIGotSoul: The new EP “Girls Like Me Don’t Cry” is out now. It’s such a progression from your last EP, talk about the creation of it.
Thuy: “I Hope U See This” was one of my first projects and it was like “Oh, do we have a project?”. We had a couple of songs and they were kind of cohesive because they were produced mostly by the same producer. This new project, I went into it knowing I wanted to put a project together. I worked with basically two to three producers and I was able to be in the studio aside from “Playing Tricks” because BeatzzbyTazz is in China. For the other tracks, I was in the studio as they were producing it. I got to have a lot of say into what I liked. If I really felt like I needed to get something off my chest, it would be like “Get me on the mic right now”. Sometimes when I have these melodies and I don’t record them, sometimes they get lost. The first melody is the one that sticks because it’s the one that came naturally. I feel like that’s what was different about this project because I was able to get in the studio when the idea was conceptualized. I was there and I got to see it from when it was the first instrument to recording the track. This time around, I worked with my friends and I’m really big on that. I feel like in the industry, people see you doing good and they try to get in you with different people. If it’s not organic, I don’t really want any part of it because I want all my music to feel good and I don’t want to be a machine that makes music. I want to feel like I’m working with people who care about me as a person above anything else. I feel like I take that into my team as well. My team aren’t just people, they’re family. I want them to feel like I care about them and I hope they feel that because it’s very true.