Ye Lay (ရဲေလး) is a Myanmar Hip Hop and R & B singer who is popular among young listeners.
He also acted in several films in the past. His latest album was entitled “Third Rhyme.”
“Struggling to establish a place for himself in the music industry for the past seven years, hip hop star Ye Lay has just released his third album, First Live Concert, on July 26. Like the previous albums, the hip hop icon has released five new songs together with a few new versions of his famous works.
The Myanmar Times met up with Ye Lay at a hip hop concert to ask him a few questions about his new album and how he works:
How long did it take to make the album?
It took about seven months to finalize this album. It is successful because I always make my works honestly and I get a lot of support from my fans.
How satisfied are you with the new album?
I’m very satisfied with it because it is really cool and I did my best. I even have a VCD and DVD, which I hope to release soon. After cyclone Nargis struck, people haven’t paid much attention to music. We had loss and tragedy but it is now time for people to try and rebuild their lives. So I released this album to make people happy with my songs.
You are a good composer. Where do you find inspiration for your rhymes and lyrics?
I never use other sources when composing a song. The words come to me automatically. I guess I’m just lucky.
If you had the chance to hold a live performance the way you want, how would you make it great?
I want to hold a one man show at a football pitch. I hope I can do this very soon.
At performances, how do you feel when people boo you?
I don’t care and I forgive them their rude behavior. I may have 90 out of 100 fans, so why should I care about 10? I don’t neglect them though, it’s my duty to persuade them to accept me. So I always try and I like that kind of challenge.
What was your first experience of live performance?
I was treated as if I was inconsequential but the fans encouraged me so I became more confident. I realized that the encouragement from my fans is one of the most important reasons why I make music.
So, for you, music is..?
It means a lot to me. If I had to choose between love and music, I would choose the latter.
Wow, that’s great. Is it also because of music that you have recently halted your acting career?
Yes, it’s true. I’ve stopped acting because I want to focus on making music. It is really difficult to balance these careers, both music and acting. You can act whenever but in singing, your vocal tones get lower as you become older.
How important are live performances for a singer?
They are really important as they are the events by which people judge your career. If you get an opportunity to perform you should accept without hesitation.
What kind of changes do we need to make for a better music industry? And, as an artist, what are you doing to help?
It will be a change for the better if there was less music piracy, to create more opportunities for the new artists. And I want the standard of live performance to be higher than at present. I’m doing my best and always try to give my best performance for my fans. So, as a reflection, I want the recognition for my works from my audiences.