Hanoi-based folk singers Tan Nhan and Ngo Hong Quang are making their marks on the local music scene, with their first CD nominated for the 2013 Devotion Prize for Best Album by the Vietnam News Agency's The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) newspaper.

After beating albums recorded by pop stars like Dam Vinh Hung and Hoang Thuy Linh, Nhan and Quang were nominated for their success in singing jazz and modern folk music.

The prize will be voted by nearly 100 music critics and reporters from prestigious newspapers and magazines across the country.

Nhan's Yem Dao Xuong Pho (Village Damsel Walking down the Street) includes seven folk songs combining cheo (traditional opera) and jazz. She was accompanied by several instruments, including cymbals.

Nhan, 32, worked with musician Tran Manh Hung, who is experienced in jazz, to challenge her vocal range.

"Hung helped me combine traditional cheo and jazz, making a new style luring young audiences," she said. Surprisingly, Quang, a graduate of the National Music Institute, recorded Song Hanh (Walking Abreast) with Dutch musician Onnon Krijin.

His album features eight songs combining modern and traditional styles.

In Song Hanh, Quang and his colleague mixed folk songs in western music. They used electronic music to highlight their idea.

His album received mixed responses from fans and critics.

"I wanted to sing in a different way to other singers. I hope my music provides my fans with a very new taste," said the 34-year-old.

Nhan and Quang will compete with their younger colleague, Nguyen Dinh Thanh Tam, for the prize.

Tam, 26, worked hard to record and release Canh Dieu Lac Pho (The Missing Kite), a production of pop music.

The album includes nine songs such as Loi Toi Ru (My Lullaby) and Len Chua (Visiting the Temple) by veteran composers Duong Thu, Tran Tien and Quoc Trung.

The songs are performed by pop stars Tran Thu Ha and Hong Nhung, but they were remixed to highlight Tam's voice.

Tam is also a new face in the race for Singer of the Year. He has been compared to five-time winner Tung Duong, who has been nominated once again this year.

Three other nominees for Album of the Year include Doc Dao (Unique Path) of Tung Duong, Canh Cung 3 (The Bow 3) of Do Bao and Yeu (Love) of the band 5 Dong Ke.

The Devotion Prize is presented annually to the best show, album and artist in seven categories.

The traditional categories include Best Music Production, Best Artist of 2013, Best Album, Best Show and Song of the Year. There will also be an award for the Best Series of Music Performances.

The April 22 awards ceremony takes place at the Hanoi Opera House, with a live broadcast scheduled on Vietnam Television's VTV2.

"Through our prizes, we hope to support music artists in their work, encouraging them to contribute more to the country's music industry," said Truong Le Kim Hoa, the newspaper's editor-in-chief.-VNA