If you haven’t already, click and watch the music video. It was made by Iranian-American music producer Alexei (@sabzi) and his collaborators for TOWNFOLK, their experimental art endeavor being funded through Kickstarter. I got wind of it via an email and then my niece Paulina, a college senior, wrote me about it on Facebook.
The video is a smart and culturally spot-on survey of Vietnamese pho culture, particularly that of South Seattle when Alexei (a.k.a. Sabzi and Saba) lives. He's captured it all in a rap video, which has a certain Beck element of humor.
Aside from the music and video, Alexei and his pals went the extra step of getting the language right. Their Kickstarter page has Vietnamese and video is subtitled in Vietnamese! Either someone has amazing language skills or he/she got an older person to translate and type it up with all the diacritic marks in place. I was mightily impressed with the polished and thoughtful effort.
I passed TOWNFOLK’s Kickstarter link around via Twitter and Facebook but wanted to know the back story. How and why did Alexei do the video? That’s the reason for this email Q&A with Alexei: (Note: his are presented as is/as were received)