Wearing someone else’s clothes
Like most Burmese pop singers, Zaw Win Htut became famous with Burmese language covers of foreign (mostly Western rock and pop) hits, written by successful cover “songwriters” such as Thukhamein Hlaing, Min Chit Thu, Win Min Htwe, Saw Khu Sae. Unlike most Burmese pop stars, this grandson of Shwe Taing Nyunt was actually embarrassed about it. He famously said that singing those songs were like wearing someone elses shirt. In a 2004 interview he said that his goal was to make original music.
He decided to make only “original” (i.e. non-cover) albums in mid 1990s. He was one of the first artists in the Burmese pop music industry to break away from the cover song mold so may Burmese artist follow. He did score a few hits with A-Hnaing-Me and Achit Mya Thu Si Mha. He continues to perform his famous cover hits in concerts although he performs only the original songs in his overseas concerts. In a 2010 interview, he admitted that he refused to do any concerts overseas for many years because he did not have a sufficient number of original songs, and that he began doing overseas concerts only after he had collected enough original songs. In the same interview he said he had done over 20 overseas concerts.
In 2000, he introduced the blues to his records.