· By Salong Namsa
Breaking Boundaries: Sabaidee Fest makes history with Debut of Cambodian Superstars in America
October 4th, 2023, 7PM
CHINO, CA (October 4th, 2023) Sabaidee Fest (SBDF) is the first and largest annual Southeast Asian (SEA) Music and Cultural Festival in the United States. At Sabaidee Fest our primary goal is to champion diversity among underrepresented Asian communities through vibrant display of traditional music, fashion, and cuisine. For 2024, SBDF is expanding its borders and highlighting Cambodian art, music and history.
Sabaidee Fest Music & Cultural Festival is excited to announce that the headliner for this year is VannDa, Vanthan, and Sophia Kao. In collaboration with Baramey Production, Sabaidee Fest will be introducing the first Cambodian headliner at a music festival in America. Led by the talented Cambodian-American artist, songwriter, music producer, and Baramey Production’s Co-Founder/CEO, Laura Mam, Baramey Production will be making their way to the US together for an epic performance on June 14th-16th, 2024.
Laura Mam says of this seismic opportunity, “Baramey’s artists have increasingly garnered world-wide attention, praise, and support. It is exciting for us to seize moments like these to build on the progress that we and our fans have made in bringing our rich culture to reach and break through to new borders. Being able to meet our supporters who helped usher us to this new stage is something that we owe to them but also to our collective desire to see original and modern Khmer art represented across the world. Sabaidee Fest supporting us in doing that means the world.”
Andrew Mam, Baramey Production’s Chief Marketing Officer says, “Baramey’s mission has always been about Music Beyond Borders – utilizing the unique power of music and art to connect, create, and innovate. Through international collaborations, we have been extending our arms and hands to countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and more with tremendous success. As my sister and I are both Cambodian-American, the goal of reaching out to the Cambodian-American diaspora has been near and dear to our hearts for a long time. This is an opportune and watershed moment for us to bring our global community even closer together thanks to our partners at Sabaidee Fest.
Mam adds, “We live in an incredible time in the Cambodian historical narrative. A renaissance has taken place in full view thanks to the internet and the world of content we live in. But regardless of the number of views, likes, and engagement metrics, there is nothing like sharing the same space and creating real magic together.”
“Sabaidee Fest is honored to play a pivotal role in the history of unifying Southeast Asian culture, music and the arts in the United States. This year we proudly welcome VannDa, Vanthan, and Sophia Kao to inaugurate the inclusion of Cambodian music to the festival and share their talent with the Southeast Asian diaspora. We are very excited and honored to be given the opportunity to work with the Baramey team to empower future generations for years to come,” says Salong Namsa, CEO and Founder of Sabaidee Fest.
For VannDa, the undisputed leader and icon of this burgeoning Cambodian artistic movement of the last 4 years, this represents a pinnacle milestone in his unbelievable rise as one of Asia’s premiere Hip Hop artists. “I keep thinking about the younger me who could only dream about something like this. It only existed in dreams but now, it’s happening and it feels so surreal. I hope this can be a beacon of hope for the younger generation of Cambodians who want to represent us on the world stage,” says VannDa.
“I want to thank Baramey and Sabaidee Fest for this incredible chance to bring Khmer voices to America. This once seemed impossible, or at the very least, unlikely for me. Vanthan, Sophia Kao and I promise to deliver something people have never seen from Cambodian artists. I promise to represent our people well. This is about knocking down walls and building bridges. It is an honor for us to share this historic moment with all of you.” VannDa adds.
VannDa is a rapper/producer/singer from Sihanoukville, Cambodia whose music has taken the Asian music world by storm reaching fans globally and domestically by incorporating ancient with modern sounds and English lyrics. His career started at a young age where he released several independent albums until joining Baramey in 2019. In 2020, VannDa debuted $kull the Album which jump started his music career. In a span of four years, the rapper has garnered over 4.6 million YouTube subscribers with his breakthrough song, “Time to Rise” feat. Master Kong Nay which yielded over 100 million YouTube views. In 2022, his sophomore album “Skull 2 (Season 1)” was released featuring the single, “Elevator”. VannDa has continued to trailblaze through Southeast Asia with performances and collaborations with various artists in Thailand. He recently made his appearance as a Producer (Judge) on Baramey Production’s first television show, The Rapper Cambodia, where contestants compete in various rap battles to secure their place as the next rapstar in Cambodia. SBDF is excited to be a part of Southeast Asian hip-hop history with VannDa’s first US appearance on a world stage!
Vanthan is Baramey’s infamous instrumentalist who is multi-talented songwriter, producer and performer. His humble beginnings from a rural village in Battambang and passion for music brought him to the Phare Ponleu Selpak program, a non-government organization teaching the arts for underserved and at-risk children. Once he graduated from the music program, Ly moved on to work for Phare Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap where he composed original pieces for all of their shows that entertained sold-out crowds of tourists visiting the ancient Angkor temples. In 2015, Ly performed his first-ever US Tour of Phare’s production “Khmer Metal” for Cambodian-American communities in Stockton, Oakland and Long Beach where he rocked the stage while his colleagues of contortionists, jugglers and acrobats wow’d the audience. In 2023, his debut song “Cambodian Gentleman” with VannDa achieved great success and helped him soar as one of Baramey’s rising artists. Vanthan has garnered an enormous fanbase following his performances at Maho Rasop Festival, Big Mountain Big Mountain Music Festival, Wonderfruit Festival, and Rolling Loud in Thailand.
Sophia Kao will captivate the audience with her angelic R&B voice with songs in Khmer, Chinese and English. The Cambodian artist, originally from Phnom Penh grew up in a musical household where she was inspired to start the craft of writing music and performing in high school. Heavily influenced by R&B in the United States with the likes of Sabrina Claudio, Billie Holiday, Summer Walker, and Amy Winehouse. Sophia began covering songs which went viral and jump started her music career. Her blends of genres became the powerhouse to drive the Cambodian music market which landed her at Baramey in 2020. The singer-songwriter uses her lyrics to connect with her audience through storytelling and emotions. Her song “Hell” garnered 3 million streams on Spotify after its debut. It’s only appropriate that Sophia brings the “Sunshine” to the Sabaidee Fest main stage!
This Baramey x SBDF collaboration will be historical. Together we rise. Salong Namsa, CEO
Tickets on Sale at sabaideefest.com