The success of Luk Thung Molam music has been credited with making Isaan culture popular all across Thailand. But the genre has also been reflecting the changing lives of Isaan people. “What really shines through is their pride, more than before, in being Isaan-Lao,” says Panis Phosriwangchai who studied popular Isaan music.
Molam music has a spellbinding power. For generations, it has shaped the cultural soul of the Lao-speaking people on both banks of the Mekong River and their communities around the world. Often declared a dying breed, it continues to reinvent itself in new modern forms while serving as a source of cultural agency for the young generation.