Back to all interviews
Freedom Collection

Interviews with Min Yan Naing

Interviewed December 10, 2023

Most of our founders – we are very interested in music. We are –most of us singers. Me I’m singing since 2000. Some of my friends also – one is a – he’s now a member of parliament. His band name is Acid. It’s a very famous band in the 1990s and 2000s – hip-hop band. They started in Burma. He’s a very famous – the band is very famous in Burma – young generation. Another guy he’s a composer and singer. He is an alternative singer. I’m also interested in hip-hop music in 2000. That’s why we will like to give the message to the young people cross – like music encouragement. We got the idea. That’s why we also produce music.

We encourage and we give the message to young people by music. In 2000 we were very famous and very popular; right now also, because rapping is – we can give a lot of messages. And then hip-hop music, for my view, it’s very free. I can be talking about anything, like rapping. That’s why I like hip-hop music. Firstly is that old generations don’t like this music. Right now they – I think so – they accept any kind of music. This is our freedom of, you know, what we like, I think. I like hip-hop, rapping. I like is hip-hop music.

I like Eminem, Snoop Dogg or Dr. Dre, but not for the politics, just like – it’s interesting. For our music is a Generation Wave project is mostly political and the current situation, and we never give up to this – the leadership government like this song. We give the message. Our generation will never give up like this. Also, what we are doing in that we have a collaboration with a Danish band. We have an English traditional electro and Burmese traditional music. We mix, and you can find on the website YouTube also. One of our members he’s a very famous hip-hop singer.

Now he is a role model for young people, also involved as a member of parliament. He is always beside Aung San Suu Kyi. You can see in many pictures. But young people are very admiring, very admiring of him. This is important social change, yes, important. But in the Generation Wave song – (sings in Burmese.) Yes, this is – I just remember – just like this – (sings in Burmese) – this is – we not never go backward, we not never give up. (Sings in Burmese.) Yes, I just – this is a chorus. Yes, we will be fight – we do not fell down, we will stay fighting. Yes. (Sings in Burmese.) Yes, yes, I forgot the lyrics, because one of my college friends, he is a very famous singer in Burma.

He also just involved in the member and volunteer to the Generation Wave; that’s his song for us. But this is a politics song. That’s why some people politic interesting. They already listen – yes, I know this song, but some people not interesting in politics, they didn’t know this song. Also, we honor to Aung San Suu Kyi we say, “mother.” Yes, talking about Aung San Suu Kyi. We also, in the MTV, yes, Aung San Suu Kyi talking about young people is important in our country. Her speech also include – we put in the song. We also talking about – some people say one of our member’s thing is he is escape from country.

That’s why he cannot take care for girlfriend, but also his mother. His girlfriend and his mother – but he say to his girlfriend, mother, OK, we cannot be together right now; I am very important to do for our country. Another – he talked to his mother, don’t cry, mother. I am doing good thing for my country. Like this – give message. And then another – my friend’s song is – (Sings in Burmese.) This is a Generation Wave song. He said we don’t need to wait the U.N. helping and we need to do ourselves for our freedom. Like this – give message – and our education system is so bad, our degree papers are like a toilet paper. Useless – give like the education system message.

Also, the Nargis Cyclone – OK, they don’t care about anything. [The Nargis Cyclone was a powerful tropical storm that struck Burma in 2008. Over 138,000 people were killed and the suffering was aggravated by the military government’s initial refusal to accept international assistance.] They keep doing for the election. We give messages on the current situation like these songs also include. Also, in 2007 revolution, some also include rock music. Very powerful guiding song for us. Also, we’re talking about our situation.

Don’t cry, ma, this song title is – yes, this is our talking about ourselves. But we are this – at the time, we are the – staying in Mae Sot [across the] Thai border in our safe house but we’re very missing to our country and our mother. Yes, we write like this; our situation is like this, but you don’t cry, mother. We are doing for one day, we will meet also, music type is many music type. Rock, hip-hop, alternative, slow rock, like pop. Like some recalibration with Danish and English electro and Burmese traditional. Many types of music. My plan is that we also would like to sing our traditional music, but our young people are not interested.

In our country is not listen only to hip-hop and rap. Some people like rock, alternative. That’s why we give like this – yes they are because in the song lyrics – not for the – only represent one person feeling – represent for the revolution, represent for the good team, represent for our country’s situation.