The Washington Post catches up with Thao Nguyen


Speaking of the luminous Thao NguyenThe Washington Post caught up with the 25-year-old singer on the eve of her latest tour. 

But judging from her high-achieving academic career, Nguyen seems an unlikely candidate for rock stardom. She graduated from the competitive Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, although she seems baffled by her enrollment because of her interest in the arts.

“It was a weird fluke that I got into that school because I’m totally not inclined towards math or science,” said Nguyen, 25. “I just went because I got in and my mom would have been really angry if I didn’t go. Since I found music and became interested in it, everything else faded in priority.”

After graduating from Thomas Jefferson, she attended the College of William and Mary, double majoring in sociology and women’s studies. She admits to having been a bit of a recluse, staying in her room to practice her songs. She traveled to Richmond, Washington and New York to perform on weekends.

Though she claims to have considered a more traditional career in women’s advocacy, she also concedes that the decision to pursue music full time came easily.

“It was obvious to me. From early on I’ve known that I have a really low attention span and don’t focus well,” she said, laughing. “I knew that I would never be interested in a nine-to-five dynamic.”

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