Behind the Scene: Vanessa Le from institute of Lower Learning

Vanessa Le, founder of art and music collective the institute of Lower Learning, had a more interesting start in the Saigon music scene than most. A marketing specialist by day, Vanessa launched into the music scene by way of a chance encounter with the band, Bottlesmoker, during a trip to the Philippines. The duo expressed interest in traveling to Vietnam, and Vanessa jumped at the chance to make it happen.

The success of the show was the catalyst for iLL’s establishment. Vanessa teamed up with like-minded promoters — Jase Nguyen of The Beats Saigon and Christian Knappe of Saigon Rockers — who were already well established in the city.

The institute of Lower Learning now enjoys a regular rotation of music and art connoisseurs that collaborate with Vanessa to bring in names from around Southeast Asia.

Drawing mostly on personal passion and interest in the Saigon music scene, iLL remains fairly under the radar, without so much as a formal website to its name.

Recently, Vanessa and iLL collaborated with The Beats Saigon to bring French beat-maker Onra to Cargo Bar. This was one of iLL’s most packed-out shows to date and epitomized its success in bolstering Saigon’s music scene.