Bad Activist

Bad Activist is an autobiographical song-cycle performance. The narrative charts the extraordinary trajectory of Vietnamese artist and activist, Mai Khoi. Khoi learns music from her farther and joins a wedding band at age 12, before becoming a celebrated pop star in her early 20's. She breaks tradition and, due to her sexually charged antics, is labelled 'the Vietnamese Lady Gaga' by the local media. In a strange turn, at the height of her popularity, Khoi runs for parliament as a candidate independent of the ruling communist party. When the party rejects her candidacy, she is placed under surveillance and banned from singing in public. Highlights of Khoi's extraordinary story include a private meeting with President Barack Obama, a protest against President Donald Trump and a fierce backlash from fellow activists. Within this crucible of political titans and international powers, Khoi develops her most personal and unique art form to date. Her new sound is rooted in forgotten Vietnamese musical traditions yet looks to the world, an emotionally-charged fusion, with her most political, yet personal, song lyrics to date. Bad Activist is a stylized and impressionistic performance piece, combining storytelling with state-of-the-art music performance, simultaneously exploring both the actual historic events of the artist's life, as well as the subconscious dream worlds that have fueled her work.