Jun 20, 2023 Spotlight
Internationally renowned publisher Humanoids announced today THE GOLDEN VOICE: THE BALLAD OF CAMBODIAN ROCK’s LOST QUEEN, by acclaimed Emmy Award-winning producer and writer Gregory Cahill and artist Kat Baumann, with designer Cindy Sous and music archivist Rotanak Oum, about the legendary Cambodian singer Ros Serey Sothea, whose extraordinary talent led to stardom during Cambodia’s golden age of music in the 1960s until her mysterious disappearance during the brutal cultural purges of the Khmer Rouge regime, available in stores October 2023.
There is a saying in Cambodia: Music is the soul of a nation. Perhaps no one embodied that spirit more than Ros Serey Sothea, a young woman who would forever change the landscape of Cambodian music as the Queen with the Golden Voice. From a humble rice farmer to superstar singer, Sothea’s success captured the hearts of the Khmer people. Throughout her life, she recorded over 500 songs, her signature angelic voice soaring over genres from traditional ballads to psychedelic rock and beyond.
As war raged, Sothea continued to sing, even as she served as one of the country's first female paratroopers but after years of bloody conflict, the Khmer Rouge seized control, murdering artists and destroying their music, and resulting in the disappearance of Sothea, whose true fate is unknown to this day.
"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who have contributed to the emergence of THE GOLDEN VOICE, a book about my sister Ros Serey Sothea. On the occasion of the English version release, I raise my ten fingers and pray for its success. Let her beautiful voice fill the hearts of humanity all over the world." said Ros Saboeun, oldest sister of Ros Serey Sothea.
Ros Serey Sothea's golden voice lives on in the popular music of Cambodia. Gone but not forgotten, her legacy continues to inspire. THE GOLDEN VOICE tells the story of Sothea’s life, developed alongside the surviving family who knew her, and accompanied by an interactive soundtrack.
"Ros Serey Sothea had a musical talent that was almost uncanny. She makes you feel her emotions within yourself, regardless of your language or generation. Not many singers possess that rare gift, and I believe that's why her musical legacy has survived with such resilience. The Khmer Rouge endeavored to crush the human spirit, but her spirit was just too bright. I think the world is just a little bit better because she graced us with her gift for even a short time." said Cahill.
Gregory Cahill is an Emmy Award-winning television producer based in Los Angeles. His credits include The Talk, Mad Men, Medium, and 24. He fell in love with the stunning voice of Ros Serey Sothea from the soundtrack to Matt Dillon's crime noir City of Ghosts, inspiring him to direct an award-winning short film also titled The Golden Voice in 2006. He has spent the past 17 years researching and writing the iconic Cambodian singer's life story.
Kat Baumann is an illustrator from Southern Minnesota. She grew up in a family of musicians, and as a kid she spent most of her time singing show tunes in her room and drawing her favorite manga characters. After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art, she interned at Helioscope Studio in Portland and began working as a freelance cartoonist. Other works of hers include Ferdinand Magellan Sails Around the World (Black Sheep: Extraordinary Explorers), Blind Spot (from the anthology Death Saves Vol. 2), 20 Fists by F.D. White, and her 2017 auto-bio graphic novella Broken Plastic Horses.
THE GOLDEN VOICE: THE BALLAD OF CAMBODIAN ROCK’s LOST QUEEN will be available in bookstores everywhere (bookshop.org) on October 10, 2023 and in comic shops (comicshoplocator.com) on October 11, 2023. Digital copies can be purchased from comiXology and other digital platforms.