Meet Anne-Sophie Hoffman – A Canadian Singer, Vocal Coach & Director in Vietnam

Available in : Vietnamese

 

July 11.2021

 

 

By Niall Mackay

 

Recently on Seven Million Bikes Podcast Episode 4, I had to opportunity to interview Anne-Sophie Hoffman, a French/Canadian Singer, Vocal Coach, and Director who has sung in front of audiences worldwide and who lives now in Vietnam.

 

Anne-Sophie moved from France to Montreal at the young age of 17 to study music for just one year, which turned into a lot longer. Unexpectedly, half of her life has been spent in Canada, before moving to Vietnam two and a half years ago with her husband. She is French by birth, Canadian by naturalization, and French-Canadian by mindset with an understanding of all three cultures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think I am different. I am French, but not that French,” says Anne-Sophie.

French people often self-deprecate and deprecate each other. Sometimes this depending on where they are from. It is fascinating to learn about where that comes from and how it actualizes. While this is not surprising to most people, as the stereotype of French people goes, is the stereotype really true?

 

There are varied nuances in the French culture and how people interact with each other, such as going to a party in France you don’t want to go to while at the same time being effusive to the host when you arrive, “I think we are a bit hypocritical” Anne-Sophie adds. In Quebec, people are much more honest and direct, less sarcastic and ironic. Compare this to Paris where you are expected to accept bitchiness and being made fun of “as a joke”. This led to Anne-Sophie being bullied in school as a teenager and herself hitting back with irony and sarcasm, which she could see was hurtful to people. This type of behavior was not tolerated in Quebec and she believes she became a better person for it. Similarly in Scotland, making fun of people is a social norm that can be considered as a sign of friendship even though the recipient may find it hurtful. At the same time, there is a fine line between being funny with your friends, and bullying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne-Sophie wanted to be the next Celine Dion, recording an album and touring the U.S. at 22. She feels that the birth of TV talent shows like Star Academy and The Voice were detrimental to her career, as she didn’t want to get involved in that side of the industry which became so dominant.  She felt that this sudden, and often short, limelight that would be shone on you, and the need to share a vulnerable side of you to get recognized was not worth it. Part of this is the sometimes brutal social media landscape, especially when you open yourself to both positive and negative reactions, which is especially challenging and frightening to someone who has been bullied. As performers, we rail against being taken advantage of for our “art”; the classic example being offered “free exposure” in return for your talent, whether you are a dancer, singer, comedian, photographer, or podcaster. This happened to me recently when I was approached about speaking about Podcast Production, shocked, someone said “You mean we have to pay you? I think it’s a good marketing opportunity as a free event to sell your service.”  While maybe well-meaning, many people don’t realize your time has value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus, we finish with the same questions as every episode of the podcast around the cultural differences between France, Canada, and Vietnam, including cars and durian and what advice Anne Sophie would give to herself before she came to Vietnam. This is an entertaining and enlightening episode into French culture, giving you insights that you may not have been aware of before.

 

You can listen to this episode with Anne Sophie Here or Click the links below for Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Listen to Anne-Sophie Hoffman’s songs on Soundcloud or Seven Million Bikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available in : Vietnamese

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Bliss Saigon is an online magazine dedicated to the Art of living in Ho Chi Minh City and Asia. The magazine present a unique editorial approach based on experts and influencers contributions, written with optimism, humor and accessibility, offering an interactive and ludic reading on lifestyle topics with sharp selections for unique insights.