Artist Profile: Thao Nyugen

2/03/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Megan O'Malley

Thao Nyugen is a spunky little singer whose infectious songs with her group The Get Down Stay Down have been making a splash on college radios for the past couple of years. The San Francisco group has toured with Xiu Xiu and Rilo Kiley as well as having a headlining tour of their own.

Nyugen started playing guitar when she was 12 years old and recording as a folk duo when she was in high school. She says that ever since she heard about Lilith Fair, she had a desire to become a singer/songwriter. While still at a young age, she recorded an EP, but it differed from her original style and Nyugen began a career as a solo artist.

Although Nyugen is part of a group, she will still occasionally perform as a solo act. In 2006, she opened for indie darling Laura Viers during her European tour. She worked as a solo artist on the Hotel Café Tour in 2009, and used her musical skills to collaborate with the Portland Cello Project. Their first album is entitled "The Thao and Justin Power Sessions"

As part of her group The Get Down Stay Down, she shines among her band mates. Her voice is light and displays a sense of innocence. NPR’s All Music Considered had this to say about Thao: “Her songs are raw and infectious, her voice has a distinctive swagger, and she's a remarkably nimble guitarist.” When listening to the group’s third record, "We Brave Bee Stings and All," listeners can hear how she sings backup to her own voice. This layered affect stands out because it rounds out the songs and makes them a delight to listen to.

In October 2009, The Get Down Stay Down released its fourth full-length album entitled "Know Better Learn Faster." Early this year they are going to head out on a European tour to support the album but they will be back in February to play a string of shows through their home base of California. Although this is the fourth album by the group, it seems as though Nyugen’s talent has barely been tapped. She began by playing in a Laundromat in Virginia and now is headlining a tour in Europe. 

Thao Nyugen is an artist to watch as her delightful upbeat sound is sure to make people smile for years to come.

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