Mai Khoi is a fiercely independent artist who is shaping public discourse on politics in Vietnam. Known as the Lady Gaga of Vietnam, she reached stardom in 2010 when she won the country’s highest award for songwriting. As a celebrity, Mai advocated for gender and sexual diversity and to end violence against women. More recently, she sparked a nationwide debate about political participation when she nominated herself to run in the 2016 parliamentary elections. Her activism has garnered international attention, and even led to a meeting with former U.S. President Barack Obama. Since running for parliament, Mai has had her concerts raided, been held in detention at the airport, was evicted twice, and is effectively banned from singing in Vietnam. In February 2018, Mai released a new album, “Mai Khoi Chem Gio – Dissent.” Mai’s work aims to counter the authoritarian ways of thinking that justify social control.