Lee's story

 

BACKGROUND

Lee came to the United States when he was 9 years old. His only memory of music as a child was Hmong funeral rituals and courting songs during New Year celebrations. He had never thought that after 30 years, it would become his passion to preserve music for his children's children in western Christian pop form.

 

THE CALL

In 2000, Lee released his first CD, The Call, combining Hmong music and western pop style. The CD was produced and recorded in St. Paul, MN. With a heart calling Hmong to God, the CD reminded them of the grace of God bringing them to a new world from living in the refugee camp, Thailand, and after the Vietnam war. The song title cover, Kwvtij Moob/The Call,  turned out to be a big hit in America and in many parts of the world where Hmong people live.

 

FREEDOM

His second CD, Freedom, was released in 2006 with most of the songs written in English. The CD was recorded in Nashville, TN. The songs addressed beliefs and fears that echoed from Hmong history and shamanism.

“As a child growing up in Laos, there were a lot of things that I feared. If you point at the moon, your ears will be cut off; if you whistle at night, puj ntxoog (a ghost-like animal) will follow you; or if you hear the cry of the loobnyuas (an owl-like creature) it means that someone's going to die soon.”

Also, when the Hmong hear the sound of traditional instruments played, they associate the fear of death with it. When Hmong many became Christians, these fears carried over and they vowed never to touch Hmong traditional instruments again. The chill still lingers to the sound of the death-drum and the "qeej" (a mouth organ played in funeral ritual). So the message of Freedom was aimed to liberate Hmong Christians from such fears:

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).”

 

DLIM PLAWG - OUT OF THE ASHES RISES BEAUTY

After the second CD, Lee went through a time of discovering himself.

“For many years, I struggled with a hidden sin, and I disguised myself by trying hard to be a good Christian.  But no matter how hard I try, I could not shake my sin.”

The weight of guilt and shame started to cause doubts and disbelief in God's love for him.

“All my life, I felt dirty, beaten down, and always like I’m never good enough. When I encounter pain and disappointments, I blame myself.  On and on, my spirit fell deeper and deeper into Satan’s lies.”

The struggle continued for many years, and it seemed hopeless.

“Growing up, I was taught that good deeds get rewarded. But when I encountered pain and suffering, I felt like being good was never good enough. I was exhausted and I started to give up.”

The feeling of defeat lasted for many years until Lee discovered that God loves him not because he's good, but because what Jesus did for him on the cross. Realizing this, he was free from all the guilt and shame, and he was changed.

“His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness. The more I boast about my weaknesses, the more Christ’s power rests in me.”

His third CD, Dlim Plawg, released in July 2016, reiterates Lee’s life stories and gives hope and healing for those who are struggling.