The list of Thai musicians that have made it in the States is startlingly, depressingly short. In fact, outside of committed music nerds who keep a watchful eye on global music trends, it might be nonexistent.
But thanks to the globalization of just about every industry, that’s starting to change. When Phum Viphurit began uploading covers to YouTube, a label — then his heroes — took notice. In 2014, Thailand’s Rats Records came across one of his cover songs on YouTube and quickly set about making him a star in Southeast Asia. It wasn’t until the 2018 single, “Lover Boy,” that he soared past that goal — it’s currently at 44,950,000 views.
The next logical step is to take over the world. It’s not that simple, though: Though he’s met his heroes Mac DeMarco and Blood Orange through his viral success, these days his videos show a young kid with an easy smile, still settling into his fame.
He’s got nothing to be shy about: He’s an immense, trailblazing talent. If Phum Viphurit keeps going down this road, pretty soon we’ll have J-pop, K-pop, and T-pop. But for now, he’s conquering the States and Canada with a North American tour. Help him on his journey to world domination by seeing him at Mezzanine on Friday, September 20 with Ginger Root.
Phum Viphurit, Ginger Root
September 20, 2019
9pm, $20 (21+)