The true story of beloved Cambodian singer Ros Serey Sothea, whose “Golden Voice” helped define Cambodia’s Golden Age of music until her mysterious disappearance in the killing fields of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. Developed in partnership with Sothea’s family.
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 nationally recognized singer, Sothea’s success captured the hearts of the Khmer people. Throughout her career, she recorded over 500 songs, her signature angelic voice soaring over genres from traditional ballads to psychedelic rock and beyond.
As the Cambodian civil war raged, Sothea's singing career continued to flourish, even when she served in the army as one of the country's first female paratroopers. After years of bloody conflict, the communist Khmer Rouge seized control, murdering artists and destroying their music, bringing Cambodia's golden age into a dark era of silence. Sothea’s fate is unknown.
Ros Serey Sothea's golden voice lives on in the popular music of Cambodia to this very day. 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.
About the Author
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.
“A delicate balance between biography, storytelling, and history to immerse the reader...Comics about the history of Cambodia and its people are having a bit of a moment, and this is a beautiful addition readers won’t want to miss.” — BooklistStarred Review
"A very beautiful graphic novel that deserves to see the light of day. Such a poignant life story." — Tian Veasna, author of the Eisner Award-nominated Year of the Rabbit
"Ros’ brilliant but short life makes for an excellent avenue to explore this tumultuous period of Cambodian history and demonstrates the ways that music can capture the spirit of a people—even after the musician is gone." — Kirkus Review
"This is such a beautiful and powerful book about one of my idols. The drawings and the included soundtrack makes the story so real and emotional. Everyone should know the amazing life and golden voice of Ros Serey Sothea." — Chhom Nimol, Lead singer of Cambodian rock band Dengue Fever
“The Golden Voice will tug at your heartstrings if you dare to listen to Ros Serey Sothea’s storytelling through her most beautiful and memorable classic songs along with other Cambodian legendary rock luminaries whose songs have been masterfully selected for the wonderful novel.” — Chanrithy Him, international speaker and author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning memoir When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge