We used to joke about singers who had voices so bad they must’ve come from the boxing ring to record their album but that’s no longer the case.
Now we have luk thung singer Nipaporn “Kratae” Pang-an, a native of Lampang who grew up with the dual talents of singing and muay thai.
This little songbird started chirping at the age of four, joining her family’s band to perform in nearby villages. Her pugilistic talents developed at age 12, when she entered the muay thai ring and racked up a clean record of 38 bouts with no defeats, including a fight in Japan.
Apart from singing, muay thai was how she earned a living. She won a Bt300 prize the first time she fought.
As a singer, she won the KPN Junior Award in 1996.
Kratae rose to fame as a boxer who sings after a TV show appearance landed her a contract with the R Siam record label. However, her first album “Mai Dai Tang Jai Dam” (no intention to be dark skin) was a flop.
“The album was not successful and I ended up spending a lot of money on transportation and accommodation coming to Bangkok,” Kratae told Dacha magazine recently.
She put the music career on hold while she finished high school then called the record company and asked if they were still interested. They were, but what they wanted proved to be challenging.
“They wanted me to do a concept album in which I would sing my life story in the northern dialect. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in that, and besides, I don’t really speak the northern language,” says Kratae, whose father is from Lampang but her mum is from Bangkok.
She brushed up on her northern dialect anyway, which was a good thing because the new album, “Peered Jai Sao Tare” (open Kratae’s heart), has so been successful that she calls it her “debt-clearance album”.
“I earned a lot from concerts and that helped buy a house in Bangkok and a car and now my family is debt free,” she says.
Next, she aims to earn a college degree and is studying architecture at Sripathum University in Bangkok.
And she hasn’t quit boxing, though she prefers to fight only in big events.
“In the future if I can, I want to set up a boxing camp and I want to be more famous as a singer,” she says.