praCHpraCh‘s story as a child refugee from Cambodia to the urban wilds of the USA is not necessarily uncommon among Cambodians of his generation.  The story of his music career is one of a kind.  He recorded his first rap album in his parents’ garage in Long Beach, and after trying and trying and trying unsuccessfully to get a record deal he gave up and just handed the CD’s around to his friends.  Someone, somehow took a copy back to Phnom Penh where it slipped into the hands of a DJ, got lots of play at some clubs and (unbeknownst to praCh) became hit in Cambodia.

When I first heard it in Phnom Penh, and had to have it, someone helped me track it down in a record store.  The pirated CD cover made no mention of praCh’s name  -- or any artist’s name for that matter -- in either English or Khmer.  Back in Canada my production assistant hunted and hunted on the net until he actually turned up a couple of news stories about this CD ( first in Asiaweek, then in Newsweek ) which clued us in on who actually authored the album.  It turns out that a journalist in Phnom Penh had followed leads all the way to Long Beach where he tracked down the guy behind the music   From there it became a press item: ‘Cambodia’s first Rap Star!’.  

When I finally got praCh’s phone number in hand, I was afraid to call. I had been cutting and using his tracks as temp music, I knew I HAD to use his music in this film.  It was one of a kind stuff, and I knew that if he said no, I would be sunk.  When I did make the call, it turned out that praCh was as magical as his music.  He wrote original tracks for the film and has been a constant friendly supporter. Since then I have attended his wedding, and come to know the extent of his commitment to his community and his art.   praCh has turned out multiple albums since, contributed to other film scores, and just keeps working.  Stay tuned!

Link to praCH's site: mujestic