Thuy Thi Thu Tran is an artist, who like most of them, finds comfort in writing music.

Performing under her mononym Thuy (stylized as thuy), the Vietnamese-American singer-songwriter recently made waves when her song “girls like me don’t cry” went viral on TikTok last year. The song spawned different trends and eventually launched her name into the mainstream.

“I knew that it was a special song from the jump but I never knew how crazy it was going to take off,” she shares to Billboard Philippines. “I think the song resonated with people because we all cry, and to have a song so blatantly talk about it probably felt so relatable. On top of that, the song’s such a bop so you can cry while dancing, too.”

Aside from the success of “girls like me don’t cry,” she also just recently hit another milestone in her career. This year, she, alongside SE SO NEON, were announced as the headliners for Jaded’s 2024 FRIENDS:FOREVER showcase at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

When asked what she felt about joining the biggest Asian-centered showcase this year, she said that she’s most excited to connect with people. “I love the energy I get from the crowd. My fans are the best. There’s nothing like seeing people scream the lyrics back to you.”

This dedication from her fans definitely come from the fact that Thuy is not afraid to confront vulnerability and honesty in her music. “[Music] is very therapeutic for me. I can’t help but be vulnerable and share my experiences through my music but then to see people cry and scream in real life when I’m performing is so special. It’s an indescribable feeling. I get super emotional.”

She has stayed true to her vulnerability ever since she made her music debut in 2015 with “Hands On Me.”

“I’ve grown so much since then. I feel like I’ve grown a lot not only in my musicality but also in my own confidence,” she says as she looks back on her career thus far. “I finally feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. It wasn’t easy getting here. But I’m so proud of myself and my team for always figuring it out and getting so far while being independent and self-funded!”

As she looks forward to the future, Thuy reveals that she’s set to drop new music soon and continue connecting to her roots. “I want to continue pushing my culture forward while also pushing myself to experiment with music,” she closes.