When I was living in Laos not so long ago, there wasn't much "showbusiness" around. Lao singers are bound to sing mostly (ok, all of them) Lao traditional music and almost all of them are recorded on cassette tape!. The local music industry is not as big as what we see outside Laos. That was not so long ago...
Then came this beautiful 15 year old (at that time) with a music so unusual it became an instant hit with teenagers locally. This is ALEXANDRA BOUXOUEI, a Lao-Bulgarian teen pop idol making waves in Southeast Asia, the U.S. and of course, the ultimate audience for an Asian teen pop singer, Japan.
Alexandra (now 20), was born in Bulgaria to a Lao father who was studying music in Eastern Europe and a Bulgarian mother. The family moved to Laos in 1988, where she was raised. She was born on May 28,1987 and she speaks Lao, English and Bulgarian.
Her music, which she describes as a combination of traditional Lao and contemporary hip-hop, has earned her glowing reviews in Southeast Asia. In 2004, the Ministry of Culture appointed her to sing "Pasaan ASEAN" the official song of the Association's meeting in Vientiane. She released her second album, titled “Forget It,” in early 2006, and first performed in Laos in 2002 to wide acclaim. Although part-Bulgarian, Alexandra sings beautifully and flawlessly in Lao, delivering her songs in a style befitting her age.
Here's Alexandra in action...
Alexandra appeared on Thai television a few months ago for the first time. The media had a feeding frenzy when she seem to be speaking Thai instead of Lao. This media-induced controversy reached her local fans creating mixed feelings among Laotians. They felt that Alexandra should've or MUST speak Lao when she appear on Thai television. Others felt that there is nothing wrong with it if the person is knowledgeable in other language. Sentiments like these reflects the trace of under lying friction among Thais and Laotians (think Malaysians and Singaporeans :-)
But when she was invited again to appear on Thai television, she was notably very-"Lao". She seem to speak in Lao, with a distinctly sweet Lao accent and wearing a Lao traditional costume. She later said in an interview that she wanted to show the world, especially Southeast Asia about her beloved country Lao. I felt for her. A mixed-blood caught in the middle of unnecessary controversies. And she handled it very well.
Alexandra is undoubtedly the next big thing from Southeast Asia. She got the looks, the attitude, the talent. If Japan accepted her, then the world is ready for her.
All the best to you Alexandra. You show them what a Lao girl got!
Here's her website: www.alexandrabouxouei.com