Sin Sisamuth, The Golden Voice Singer
Sin Sisamuth was a famous Cambodian song composer and singer during the 1950s and 1970s. He was nicknamed “Akthireach Saamleng Meas,” or called "Golden Voice Singer."
Sin Sisamuth was born on August 23rd, 1932 in Steung Treng province. He was the last child of 4. His father was Sin Leang, a prison guard in Battambang province and a soldier of the anti-colonial revolution, and his mother was Sip Bunly.
At age 5, he started elementary school in Steung Treng province and developed an early passion for art. He was also into Buddhism. He often studied Dharma, loved to read books, played balls, and flew kites. In 1951, he finished school and went to continue his education at a school of medicine in Phnom Penh. Despite his busy schedule, Sin Sisamuth always found time to learn to sing and compose. He formed a musical group called Preah Chan Reaksmey. In 1953, he graduated from school and went to work at Preah Keto Meala Hospital.
His Career as an Artist
His musical band became more popular in 1953 and got invited to perform on national radio. This made him more famous across the country and he often sang on radios and during wedding parties. At the same time that Cambodia gained its independence from the French, he had become the singer of the national radio. His songs were carefully written to avoid any mistakes. The songs he composed were emotional, sentimental, and portrayed love, happiness, sadness, and dreams. He sang a lot of songs from other composers to cater for his listeners.
During the early 1950s, Sin Sisamuth entered the Royal Treasure Orchestra because princess Sisowath Koso Neary Roth was impressed by him. He stayed until 1970. He could sing pop, classical, and cultural songs.
In 1963, he sang for Wat Phnom Production and later sang for famous films and movies like the story of On Ery Srey On. His songs made some movies and the storyline more captivating and sadder.
From 1970-1975, he sang songs composed by Vaoy Hau. He used song melodies from foreign countries and sang them in Khmer. Until 1972, he had sold one thousand songs to different productions in Phnom Penh and continued to sing another one thousand songs by the time the Khmer Republic collapsed in 1975.
He left the Royal Treasure Orchestra in 1970 and worked at the 5th office of the Ministry of General Command and stayed there for one year before he moved on to join the Ministry of Music.
Love, Marriage, Family
Sin Sisamut did not have any romantic relationship because he spent all his time working on his songs. He married twice. His first marriage was not going well due to stress. His wife left him and became a nun at age 30.
His second marriage was with a Royal Treasure dancer. After the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in April 1975, his family, along with thousands of others, left Phnom Penh. He sang for the Khmer Rouge, but later got killed on May 18th, 1976.
Sin Sisamut was the only hero who left us with his legacies during the 20s. The songs he composed and sang remain deep down in the Cambodian people’s hearts. His last belief in politics was for the Khmer people to never forget what we had been through and the destiny of our country.
By: Moeun Kimyan