The Localist

The music scene in Thailand


Visitors to Thailand might easily get the impression that Thailand doesn’t have its own music scene. A lot of bands at bars play covers of western pop and rock classics. At the discos you’ll probably hear trance and hip-hop.  The few bands that are playing Thai music tend to only play covers of classic old Thai songs.

Tourists therefore might think that the music scene in Thailand is just a rip-off of western music. I do agree to a certain extent. But now times are changing.  We Thais love music, and there is a huge and thriving music scene in Thailand.

The strong influence of western music exists for a reason I guess: To impress tourists. Unfortunately, this gives tourists the impression that we don’t have our own musical styles or genres. In fact, we do. The main Thai music genres are: Thai Classical Music, Luke Toong, Luke Rung, Mor Lam, Peua Cheewit, Thai Pop and Thai Rock.

Music is something that every person has his or her own specific opinion about. My personal favorite is the Thaitanium hip hop music group. The group has released five albums and has performed for the MTV Asia Awards, and was even an opening act for 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg. They were among the first Thai rap artists to do well in the mainstream,. Now there are many other talented, energetic bands here, performing their own version of Thai rock, hip hop etc. Thaitanium’s lyrics are about things going on in their own personal lives, and people with similar problems can find comfort in their words, knowing there is hope and that other people are going through similar things out there in the world. They’re very creative indeed.

Many locals do also like western music, and are very enthusiastic about music concerts. Fortunately, there are plenty concerts happening in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, every year. The likes of Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, Avril, Florida, Pitbull and Maroon 5, have all played in Bangkok. Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Eric Clapton are on their way to perform in Bangkok over the coming days. It’s not only the western artists that attract big crowds though – the Thai singers do as well.

In Bangkok, the bigger concerts usually take place in arenas such as Muang Thong Thani and Bitec Bangna. If you want to listen to live music, you can also go to local bars. Brown Sugar Club and Saxophone Pub are two of the most famous Jazz bars in Bangkok, and they never disappoint. If you’re into indie rock, you should visit Parking Toys (pictured), Cosmic Café and Sonic, amongst others. If you like trance and hip hop, RCA (or Royal City Avenue) is the place you should go if you want to shake your booty. It’s a designated nightlife zone with many clubs. Slim and Route66 are 2 famous clubs in RCA. I’ve been to Narz quite a few times, and it’s fun on the weekends. It’s normally packed, especially after 2 am, as that’s when RCA closes and people then stroll down to Narz.

I can personally relate to the effects that music has on its listeners because it’s a big part of my life. Someone told me that music relaxes your mind, changes your mood and helps you deal with different situations. I totally agree, and I hope you do too. Every day I listen to the words and sounds of different singers/bands with contrasting ideas and opinions. The music I listen to makes me who I am. I reckon the songs in your ipod tell the world what kind of person are you.





Image. Photo by BK.


One Response to The music scene in Thailand

  1. mohit dobhal says:

    Hey, I would love to collaborate with the thai musicians in November 2016. Let me know if something is possible.
    My website :
    email :


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