Sok Chanphal isn’t only one of the most promising and praised (he just won the SEA Write Award for works such as Just a Human Being) representatives of young Khmer literature. Chanphal also writes song lyrics for Hang Meas productions and shares tips on how to become a successful songwriter.
“Being a songwriter requires one to have a wide variety of knowledge. The more general knowledge one has, the better his writing will be. More importantly, a writer has to have a great deal of understanding of Khmer literature.” Chanphal says.
General knowledge and understanding of literature alone don’t do the trick however.
Chanphal claims you either have ‘it’ – or you don’t: “Song and literature writers must have talent from birth. This natural talent is referred to as interest in writing, observing reality, and knowing what happens in society, all of which can be used in their composition.”
Because writing literature or song lyrics is only a small (yet hopefully upcoming) market in Cambodia there are probably many talented people who neglect the field.
To these people Sok Chanphal says:
“If someone has natural aptitude, he or she shouldn’t give up but build up on it to one day become a successful songwriter anyway.
He adds: “Remember that if there are more people busy in the field art and literature as a whole will definitely move on in our country.”