Overlooked No More: Sinn Sisamouth, ‘King’ of Cambodian Pop Music

He and his singing partner, Ros Serey Sothea, drew from a wide range of Western and local influences. They disappeared after the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975.

Before the singer-songwriter Sinn Sisamouth disappeared, he had become a fixture on radio programs and in nightclubs in Cambodia and beyond. For more than two decades, from the 1950s until the mid-’70s, fans praised his smooth voice and evocative lyrics about love and the Cambodian landscape.

He and his bandmates — most notably the singer Ros Serey Sothea — stood out for their versatile repertoire of jazz, rock ’n’ roll and popular Khmer ballads, among other styles. Sometimes they would use the melody of a Western song — the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” for example — while adding orchestration and writing original Khmer lyrics for it.

They played a major role in defining the sound of Cambodia’s popular music industry, with Sinn Sisamouth emerging as one of the country’s most revered stars.

In full: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/obituaries/overlooked-sinn-sisamouth.html

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