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Ukrainian DJ finds second home in Vietnam

The Vietnamese digital music community has been impressed by the appearance and performances of a beautiful Ukrainian DJ at major domestic musical events in recent years.

Vietnam's beauty has charmed Alexandra Rud. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Rud

The 27-year-old girl, whose name is Alexandra Rud, has been living and working as a professional DJ in Vietnam for three years. Possessing a fit figure, she is also a rising amateur model and actor.

Rud said she came to Vietnam by chance following a suggestion from one of her friends who had been before. The two-week trip left her with a good impression of the country and the people.

Then the chance for her to come back to Vietnam arrived when she received an invitation to teach English and other art subjects like piano, drawing and dancing at a private school in Hai Phong City.

With the help of many Vietnamese friends, it took Rud barely three months to adapt to her new life after overcoming several difficulties.

“The first difficulty I encountered was the weather. It is so hot in summer which I rarely experienced in Ukraine so I hardly ever go out in the daytime in June or July," she said.

"Traffic is also a challenge. I did not dare to cross the street in the early days because the roads were like a rolling river. Time helped me get used to all of that and now I don’t have any problems. I even drive a motorbike now on the streets.”

During her six months living in the northern port city, Rud started to make new friends and one of them was a DJ.

Alexandra Rud said she likes the music and the playing style of Vietnamese DJs. — Photo courtesy of Alexandra Rud

“One day, I visited my friend’s bar in Hai Phong and really liked the music and the playing style of Vietnamese musicians. Learning that I used to work as a DJ in Ukraine, my friend suggested I try my hand here and I have been doing it since 2017,” she said.

“I like the way a DJ controls the crowds below and furthermore, the job enables me to travel to most provinces within Vietnam, which was my wish when I came here for the first time. The income is also sufficient to cover my daily expenses here.”

Rud’s favourite type of music is House – a genre of electronic dance music characterised by deep bass rhythms, piano or synthesizer melodies, and soul-music singing, sometimes with elements of rap music.

“The different between me and other DJs could be the audience feels me. DJing is an art and the announcer is an artist. I can’t compare art because everyone has a different feeling for it. I just hope the audience enjoys the style and the music when I perform,” she said.

Even though she finds passion in her the job, there is still some things she feels uncomfortable with, for example, bad comments about the profession due to the sexy outfits or performances adopted by a small number of DJs.

“DJing also upsets my ordinary life as I have to stay up late and wake up late as well. I hardly have a proper morning,” she said.

In order to stay healthy, in addition to a special diet, she spends time practicing yoga and jogging. She also paints and plays the piano during her spare time to keep her life more balanced.

She paints and plays the piano during her spare time to keep her life more balanced. — Photo courtesy of Alexandra Rud

Rud’s path to become the "witch of sound" in Vietnam seems to be going quite smoothly as she has received enthusiastic help from many friends. After only two years, she was already a popular name in the digital music industry.

However, learning Vietnamese is still a huge challenge.

“I can understand what other people say but I rarely speak Vietnamese because the pronunciation is too difficult. I often have to use body language to communicate with locals.”

After nearly three years living and working here, the female DJ revealed that sometimes she feels like a real Vietnamese.

“I really like Vietnamese food, particularly delicious cheap street food – Hai Phong bánh đa cua (crab noodle soup), bánh cuốn (steamed rolls made of rice flour), bún tôm (shrimp vermicelli) and all kinds of hot pots," Rud said.

"I don’t like phở (beaf noodle) very much, maybe because I first lived in Hai Phong City and the locals there don’t eat the dish much. I might have been influenced by their taste.

“Since living here, I have eaten almost every Vietnamese food. Unlike other foreigners, I can eat most local dishes. I no longer remember European flavours.”

Besides the food and hospitable locals, what has enticed the Ukrainian girl to stay in Vietnam is its scenic landscape.

“I have travelled to most provinces in the country and each place has an interesting surprise. Vietnam is so beautiful and the autumn in Hanoi is so pleasant,” she added.

In the future, Rud plans to become a professional music producer and open a school to teach English and other skills to children in Vietnam, the country she considers her second home. VNS

Luong Thu Huong

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