For years Srey Thy has eked out a living singing in the Karaoke clubs of Phnom Penh, she supports her entire family on her income of less than $100 a month. In a twist of fate, Thy met Australian musician Julien Poulson who heard Thy sing and suggested she try something very different, together they formed The Cambodian Space Project. Srey Thy, has always loved songs of Ros Sereysothea – the great Cambodian diva, once known as The Golden Voice of Phnom Penh, who tragically disappeared in the Killing Fields, so choosing a Sereysothea classic Dop Pram Moi sits well as the band’s first video.
Thy was born into poverty around the time the Khmer Rouge was finally driven from power. Thy’s father, then a tank driver, lives today in the same impoverished village in Prey Veng where he proudly points to a faded photo hanging from the flimsy wall of the family’s thatched hut. The photo is a black and white image of a handsome young officer in 70’s flares and sunglasses, standing next to a baby girl, both attentively listening to a transistor radio… perhaps even listening to the psychedelic Cambodian Rock of the late 60’s and early 70’s.