Have you ever heard popular Lao music and couldn’t get it out of your head? Then don’t even try, especially if you want to learn the Lao language. You see, listening to songs in the language you’re interested in learning makes the process faster. With it, you’d have an idea of how to use the words or phrases, even if you don’t know any locals to practice speaking the language with. Don’t believe it? This article will let you into the music and artists popular in Lao. Plus, we’ll learn more about the phrases related to the Lao music scene.
What Is The Famous Music In Laos?
Lao music comprises songs written by various ethnic groups that call Laos home, including the Lao people themselves. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that the melodies, inspirations, and instruments used are reminiscent of traditional music from Cambodia and Thailand. Laos’s musical heritage can be divided into two categories: classical and folk.
However, the most well-liked kind of music in Laos is the native “mor lam,” commonly referred to as “lam.” It is often performed by troupes wearing colorful outfits and features competing pairs of singers. Traditional instruments, such as the “khene” or bamboo mouth organ, are used in these performances.
The music interprets materials, such as courting duels or improvised stories with colloquial, topical, or indecent themes. The singers performing in an ensemble, a man and a woman, are also called “mor lam.” Besides the “khaen,” other instruments used in performance include bells, fiddles, and flutes.
More About Mor Lam Terms
To help you remember Lao terms related to “mor lam,” here’s a table containing widely used terms about this most popular music in Laos.
|The traditional music of Laos
|Bamboo mouth organ used in Mor Lam performances
|Group of performers presenting Mor Lam
|Informal language used in Mor Lam songs
|Themes of courtship in Mor Lam performances
What Is The Music And Instruments Of Laos?
The music of Laos has its origin in Siam. Therefore, it is similar to the music of Thailand and Cambodia. The similarities arose when the Tai people from the southern part of China migrated to Thailand and Laos. As a result, the cultures among these countries, including music, became similar in many ways.
The music of Laos varies from region to region:
This music variation is present in the southern region. The music uses Khmer words and Mon-Khmer tunes.
This is in the central region, and the music is closely similar to Thai music, including the music used in ceremonies and festivals.
- Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang exists mostly in the northern region of Laos. It’s a piece of classical court music in Laos that is rarely heard nowadays. However, you can still see the instruments used during its golden years displayed in the royal museum.
Most Popular Lao Music Artists
Laotian music has also kept up with the times with the emergence of the Lao pop music genre, available on popular music and video streaming sites. The genre retains its traditional style but is blended with contemporary pop elements. The lyrics of these pop songs typically revolve around everyday life, relationships, and love.
Here are some of the most popular Lao artists in this genre:
She is a model, singer, and actress known as the first Lao pop princess. Her music is highly praised in Southeast Asia, blending contemporary hip-hop with traditional Lao music. Besides her thriving career, Bounxouei is also involved in humanitarian work and serves as the first United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Lao PDR.
This group, consisting of one woman and four men, has made it to the charts in Laos and overseas. They have a significant following among Lao teens in their home country. The group’s music is a fusion of R&B, hip-hop, elements of EDM, and traditional Lao music.
The acronym stands for Lao Original Gangstaz, a Lao pop band known for its contemporary pop style blended with funk and rock. Their songs are relatable, featuring provocative messages about their personal problems and social issues.
This heartthrob has gained massive fans with his songs about heartaches, love, and relationships. He is a popular Lao balladeer who always sings his heart out while strumming the guitar.
Cells is a rock group from Laos that catapulted to the top of the charts in the early 2000s. They are known for their energetic music and attractive appearance. Some of their hits include “Varn,” which means “Sweet,” and “Yukbobzuzu,” which means “I’ll Tell You Why.”
This Lao artist catapulted to popularity upon releasing his first single, “Sing Neung Tee Yark Khor,” in 2010. He continues to dominate Laos’s R&B charts with his latest music release, “Sly.”
Since she won the “Best New Female Pop Artist” award at the Lao Music Awards in 2011, this Lao R&B and pop artist has graced magazine covers and become the face of many advertisements for drinks, jewelry, and phones.
Sam expanded his audience after performing the song he wrote for the Southeast Asian Games in 2009, titled “The Spirit of the Flame.” He is signed with Indee Records and is considered one of Laos’s top R&B singer/songwriters.
This popular Lao pop artist started his career by uploading song renditions on YouTube. He is now known as an R&B crooner and is signed under Indee Records.
This award-winning pop artist hails from Luang Prabang. She won the Lao Music Awards for Best New Artist of the Year in 2008 and Best Female Pop Song of the Year in 2013.
Speed Up The Process Of Learning Lao With Ling
Apart from listening to popular Lao music, you can learn the language faster through an app called Ling. It’s an interactive application that makes learning new languages, including Lao, fun and engaging. Simply download it to your phone, and voila, you have an instant language tutor you can use anytime you want. The best part? It’s available on both the Play Store and App Store!