When we talk about versatility in musical genres we’re usually referring to one or two genres from those talented artists that can pop out of say Country music and drop into Blues/Blue Grass or even Jazz, or maybe Rap to Pop or vice versa. I’m sure there are many other genre jumps achieved by many fabulous singers/musicians/artists that I haven’t mentioned here so please don’t shoot me.
The reason I mention it at all is this, Dimash Qudaibergen finds his place in a number of different genres ranging from Folk music to Neo-Classical, to Opera, to Pop, to Rap and back again. His ballads are the stuff of legend already due to his immense vocal range, but even taking that into account it is rare indeed to find one artist straddling so many different musical genres. He doesn’t appear to slot into any single one as his main genre.
The first time I heard him sing was when I saw him on I am Singer 2017 show late last year. During his performances on that show, I was struck by the range of songs he was singing, albeit they were specifically chosen to show off his fabulous vocals and each of them hugely difficult songs to sing in their own right. It was still done to show skill and vocal agility, it was a competition after all.
Since the end of that competition and his subsequent rise to worldwide fame, his choice of songs has been varied. Since joining creative forces with the inimitable Igor Krutoy, Dimash has had the choice of seriously beautiful songs composed specifically with his voice in mind. That is a dream come true for any artist, but for Dimash it catapulted him onto the world wide stage and recognition soon followed.
So today, I’m going to post songs from a few different genres, my own personal favourites are Folk and Classical/Opera. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the other genres, I do, when they’re performed well, I just gravitate towards the fuller vocals he uses for his neo classical and Opera, and the emotion he sings with in his folk songs.
Every Genre has its place in music today because of folk music. Everything stems back to that time where story telling was set to music in order for the human mind to remember the words easily when there were no notebooks or pens to scribble anything down and little or no knowledge of the written word. Only the monks had the power to record historical events which were reserved for royalty, the landed gentry and of course the church. Not to be beaten, the common folk found their own way of passing down their stories from one generation to the next and so folk music was born.
Durdaraz is the epitome of classic folk song, it doesn’t matter which country you are from! When we listen to folk music we hear a story being told of an event that altered lives perhaps in the smallest way, but regardless of the lack of important information being passed on, the song is still carried forward handed down, remembered, added to, embellished and revered.
Durdaraz is an excellent example of this, a young man talks to his god about the beautiful woman his eyes have rested upon, he wishes his own bride to look similar, somewhere between the start of the infatuation and the end of the story, one or the other of them has seen their bottoms with the other because they didn’t turn up for a rendezvous. Discord sets in. Oops. and so another love song is created from the remnants of a broken heart. At least that is the impression the sub titles give us, however the background imagery is very much about his beloved Kazakhstan, so I guess we either trust the interpreter or draw our own conclusions.
Dimash has revitalised this folk song, while keeping it folk with the sound of the two Dombyra lutes, the addition of the electric guitars and the absolutely fabulous percussionist who really, really loves his job, they turn this otherwise ordinary folk song into a song for today. The music carries the weight of the song and the lyrics almost become secondary to the enjoyment of such a powerful vibe.
Mademoiselle Hyde brings us to Igor and Dimash creating a neo classical sound that touches on operatic but then skitters back to safety and remains light and airy in its delivery. Dimash performs this song as if he is telling his lover all the problems they will face. It is a classic story given a new lease of life through the power of a devilishly clever composer and a stunningly beautiful voice. As an aside to this, the young ladies in the choral section look rather happy to be right where they are!
Is it Igor and Dimash’s best work? No, not by a long shot, (in my opinion) but it is extremely enjoyable to listen to and delightful to watch Dimash and Igor perform on the stage together.
Golden brings us squarely to Dimash’s pop genre, not my favourite genre by any means, but he understands his audience well and provides something for everyone. Golden is a firm favourite for a great number of his fans. I confess it has a catchy hook and I find myself enjoying it despite my best intentions to fast forward. Personally I believe that has more to do with the tone of his voice rather than the song itself. I am always enthralled at how many different ways he can use his vocals to make himself sound like 25 different people all in one body!
One of the beautiful aspects of the video footage that accompanies this song is the footage of him meeting his fans. He adores them and goes out of his way to thank them for their support constantly. Humble to the core. It’s okay I’m just fangirling for a minute…
Okay, I’m fixed and back again with another choice of song, this is most definitely back in the genre of traditional Kazakh folk music. Qairan Elim (Oh my holy land) The music was composed and performed by Renat Gaissin on the Kobyz, which is closely associated with the sound of a violin but has a much broader scope of sound and in the right hands can sound like bird calls and horses hooves amongst other things! I absolutely adore the sound of this instrument and Renat Gaissin is a master of his craft. It can be heard throughout the song Stranger also, where it provides the power of mystical darkness with its beautiful eerie quality.
Qairan Elim is a love song to his beloved country, wishing and hoping for the trials and tribulations of the past to be done and peace and harmony for his people now and always in the future. Dimash’s passion for his country is so very moving you can’t help but feel every single word he is singing and hope for the same. What a way to carry forward the tradition of folk music.
Finally a quick trip over to Opera with a little bit of Ulisse and Aida Garifullina flirting heavily with Dimash. No great surprise really, he is extraordinarily good looking and he sings like that! Seriously, I do not do the leery thing with Dimash, he is way too young to even contemplate him in that way, but oh I do lust after his voice. I care not how that sounds! His vocals in this aria are so very beautiful I want to cry when I hear him. It shows us the fullness of his octave range and this is nowhere near the bottom of it. I adore the way he doesn’t out sing her, he could, other Opera singers would try to drown her out with their vocal gymnastics but he accompanies without stealing the show. Until the very last note, and then his is the higher final note of the two of them. Guess he can if he wants to… who’s going to argue with him?
Beautifully accompanied by Igor Krutoy on Piano and the ice dancing was good too. Sorry… I just forget to watch them!
So that’s the end of this longer trip into the world of Dimash, I hope you enjoyed the selection of songs I’ve chosen this time. Most of them I haven’t posted before but Ulisse I posted a couple of posts back. I love it, I am unrepentant!
As always if you wish to see more of Dimash take a quick trip over to YouTube and visit his official YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/DimashQudaibergen_official
You won’t want to leave… I promise.