Interview with Aung Htet

Since entering the Eain Mat Sone Yar (Yar Thet Pan) singing competition, Aung Htet quickly rose to popularity for his talent in rearranging songs under various themes of the competition. After coming a long way, he finally reached his dream of becoming a singer after being named the winner on July 5.

When did you start becoming interested in music? Tell us your music experiences before entering.

I’ve always been interested in music. I started playing music when I was 20. I have participated in Gita Tagar Lay Phwint Par Oun and So Kya Mal, Pyaw Kya Mal singing competitions in the past. I received the third prize in the Myanmar Superstar 2010-11 competition. After that, I was unable to enter singing competitions as I had to earn a living for my family but I continued to learn about music.

How did you study music?

Mostly I listen to music but I also study. I show the feelings I have obtained from various experiences in my life and use them to create music.

Why did you enter this season?

I believed I would be able to present what I had learned. I was more interested in this competition as I would be allowed to rearrange the songs with my own creations. That’s why I only entered it this season.

You had to compete under different themes each week. Which weeks brought most satisfaction and which brought most frustration?

There weren’t any particular weeks where I felt unsatisfied. The week where I had to sing love songs and Maha was unique. The week where I had to sing a female’s song was also unusual. As for me, I tried my best each week so there weren’t any particular weeks when I felt unsatisfied.

What were the main challenges?

Song selection was the most difficult. Each week, the band asked me for the musical notes, but I was still unable to choose a song. As I had to think carefully about how to rearrange the songs, it was very difficult for me. After selecting the song, I had to negotiate with the band. Sometimes I wasn’t able to use the instruments I wanted so I had to focus more on the vocal part.

What experience did you have with the judges?

The judges recognised my effort and told me when they were unnecessary. I wanted to learn from them so I took note of everything they said and applied it practically. I think of this as a chance to learn whatever I needed for my professional knowledge.

Did you expect to win?

I didn’t expect it at the start, but the show is going to produce albums [for the winner] so I was hoping to win. In the actual competition, I had to struggle harder each week and I received more support from the audience. That’s why I didn’t hope for anything else and I only thought about how to give my best performances for each week and present the best to the audience. I’m very happy that I won. I’m now able to make my dream come true.

What’s in the pipeline?

I still have many things to learn about music. I plan to study musical notes and learn how to play the piano.

Will you earn a living from music?

You can say I can survive now. I will continue to make music. I have received the audience’s support so I will try to become a person who is worth their support.