Our Story


Why We Exist -  Lost Era of Original Music

The 1960s saw a golden era of music in Cambodia. Psychedelic Rock burst onto the music scene and artists were creating new sounds by blending traditional Khmer music with Western blues rock. Places like Phnom Penh were a melting pot of east meets west original music. This thriving popular music scene was a powerful cultural, social, and economic force in the sixties. This came to an abrupt end during the Khmer Rouge where a complete generation of musical talent was lost.

Nearly 40 years later, we are seeing original music starting to flourish again with a new wave of local artists exploring hip-hop, rap and pop music. However, these new young artists lack access to the resources and support necessary to produce and promote their music. 

Our Philosophy

Artists take the human experience and turn it into sound. Soundwaves are invisible waves that carry sound. 

We believe original music in Cambodia symbolises these waves of energy that have been lost. We want to give these waves a platform and make a sound that can’t be ignored. The Sound Initiative is giving a voice to original artists in Cambodia and creating a new wave music movement.  In Cambodia, there is a new generation of innovative, creative musicians shaking up the field and waking up their audiences. These musicians have big, artistic dreams and The Sound Initiative team aims to support them in achieving them.

The Programme | Our Values

 TSI is a social enterprise pursuing a social mission to support young Cambodian artists to make a living by gaining access to vocational training. All profits are reinvested into achieving this mission. Through mentoring and vocational training, we are creating a system of support for original works and the creative minds behind them.

We see collaboration as central to meaningful work and creativity the product of social encounter. These concepts are key to seeing a new generation of musicians thrive and a creative sector rebuilt. Our Ambassador, Laura Mam shares this idea and has said that:
 “when artists come together creativity seems to jump. You learn a lot from being around a lot of different kinds of artists and seeing life as art; it can inspire more creativity than most people know.”

This is the spirit in which our programme was created. 

Thank you to all our early supporters.