Dimash Qudaibergen: Raw Emotion.

Dimash first sang Daybreak on the Chinese competition ‘The Singer’ in 2017. The song tells the story of a young boy who was made an orphan after both his parents were killed in a tragic accident when their cable car fell and crashed. The song was written and originally performed by Han Hong, a famous Chinese singer and songwriter. She tells the story of the young boy from his perspective. When she heard his story it moved her so much she wrote Day Break for him. At the moment the cable car fell and crashed the father tried his best to hold his son high above him for most of the night in the hopes that he would be saved. The two-year old boy survived but sadly both his parents died.
Han was so deeply touched by the story of this little boy, she adopted him, so greatly did she empathise with him. Her own father had passed away when she was just 6.
Dimash learned the song phonetically in the space of one week. He wanted to show his appreciation to the Chinese people who had so resoundingly supported him and ‘adopted’ him as one of their own from the beginning of the competition.
This performance was at Dimash’s Bastau Concert, Astana 2017.

This is a much more polished performance, but for me it has a raw edge to it that wasn’t there during his first performance on the Singer. Considering his concert came close on the heels of the end of the competition, the difference in the delivery of the song is marked. My own opinion is that this is the superior performance of the song. The raw emotion Dimash delivers throughout reaches inside me and made me feel every single word of his story. I cried, I had chills, goose bumps and felt sheer joy at his mastering of the song and it’s difficult language in such a short time frame.
As a side note, I was alarmed at how much weight he appeared to have lost in the time between his Bastau concert and the end of the Singer competition. Thankfully it was a short lived thing, he has since gained weight again and looks delightfully healthy and handsome as ever!

The second song I’m featuring today is Qaragym-Ai.

Qaragym-Ai is a beautiful song written by the Famous Kazakh composer Kènes Duysekeyev, who passed away in June of 2020. Kènes Duysekeyev was Dimash’s teacher and mentor in the master’s program of the Kazakh National University of Arts.

The words of this composition were written more than 25 years ago and they were dedicated to the daughter of a dear friend who was getting married. At the request of his friend, Kènes Duysekeyev wrote music to the words, which in turn reflected the composer’s sadness about the never to be wedding of his 19-year-old sister, who had passed away. When Kènes first heard Dimash sing it he is reported to have said Dimash had captured the essence of the composer’s memories. According to the composer, Dimash was able to convey to the audience those emotions and feelings that the author of the words and himself put into them. After all, the meaning of the author’s words carry one thing – love.

Dimash dedicated this performance of the song in the October of 2020 in memory of his Mentor and Tutor. The emotion in his performance is very evident, it is immediately obvious this song has special meaning to Dimash, his personal investment is raw and untamed. You can feel his great sadness, you can hear it in every word, it is etched onto his face as he sings.

I am not embarrassed to admit this performance broke my heart.

I hope you enjoy both of these songs as much as I did.

Dimash Qudaibergen 2019: Composure and refined performance!

The first song I’m featuring here is once again written by Igor Krutoy for Dimash to perform at the World Skills 2019 in I believe Kazakhstan. Don’t shoot me, my geography knowledge is rubbish.

However what I do know is this, so far you have heard him sing in French, Kazak, Russian and now in Ogni Pietra (Olympico) he sings in Italian. further down in this post he is going to be singing in English! Dimash sings in 12 different languages and while his pronunciation of certain words is not always perfect, the emotion of the words and song are there and he delivers, note perfect each and every time. I cannot fault him, I can only speak English and therefore could not nor should not comment on his pronunciation good or otherwise! I wouldn’t even attempt to speak in a foreign language let alone sing in 12 different ones!

Ogni Pietra is a call to greatness, a call to strive to do your best and was written to inspire the contestants of the world skills 2019 competition. For me, this song is a particular favourite because he makes the hairs stand up on my arms and gives me chills with his vocal acrobatics, just when you think you have heard everything he has to offer he gives you Ogni Pietra and in Italian no less!
I see Dimash growing so much in his performance technique and his composure while singing this song, it is hard to marry together the earlier performances on ‘the Singer in 2017’ to his now polished presentation in 2019. 2 short years can really make a difference. Once again his vocal range is stunning but it is his emotional connection to the song that is the stand out in this song for me. He fills your heart up with the drive to succeed. The best call to excellence I have ever heard.

So far on this trip through Dimash land, I have concentrated on the ballads and the obvious vocal versatility, sung in the neo-classical style. So, now I want to explore the different styles and genres he performs in. Screaming is sung in English and this I think was his first official contemporary music video. He does all his own backing vocals too, and as usual we are treated to the vocal gymnastics he is renowned for.

I confess, while I like this song, it is not my preferred genre, so other than to say WOW when he vocalises the instrumental section and gives us a stunning staccato run mid way through, which is so exceptionally difficult to do and which he delivers with such ease, I have little to add on the content. It’s a contemporary pop song and he delivers a stunning performance vocally and visually. He could make me a convert to pop music if they all come out like this one.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy two more trips into the awe inspiring world of Dimash Qudaibergen and his world class voice.

Dimash Qudaibergen: ‘Sinful Passion’ and introducing Igor Krutoy.

Sinful Passion was performed by Dimash at the Slavic Bazaar in 2018. The song was written and performed originally by Kazak band ‘A Studio’ who played on stage with him during this performance.
At 4.17 minutes into the video, Dimash vocalises a mourning chant for the recently deceased lead singer of the band A studio as a mark of respect. His exceptionally fast yodel is mind blowing! What comes after that section is truly astounding! His final vocalisation begins at 4.43 minutes and he finally takes a breath at 5.08. The whole section is sung on one breath and involves a sliding scale up that soars and then comes down in a series of runs, still on the same breath before finally taking a breath at 5.09 and brings the song to a close. That one section on that one breath lasted a whopping 27 seconds!
I was left speechless.

It is at the end of this performance that the renowned Russian music composer Igor Krutoy appears for the first time in Dimash’s career. He gives Dimash a standing ovation and is the first to get to his feet and applaud.

Shortly thereafter, Igor would present ‘Love of Tired Swans’, specifically written and composed for Dimash. Igor Krutoy had fallen under the spell of this young man’s extraordinary talent and now treats him as his priority. He has written some utterly stunning pieces for Dimash since ‘Tired Swans’ but for now, just sit back and enjoy the beginning of a powerful union of musical genius at work. This particular song reaches inside my soul and makes it cry. I feel wiped out, but curiously utterly content each time I listen to it.

Dimash’s ability to vocalise the instrumental sections of each song is stunning. The first time I heard him do it properly in Sinful Passion I had my back turned just listening while I worked on a mosaic, I thought it was an electric guitar riff running up! I turned around to actually watch the performance and rewound it to try and find the guitarist who had pulled off that note! I was more shocked when I realised it was Dimash and he sounded just like an electric guitar!

Mind officially blown!

Igor Krutoy and Dimash Qudaibergen performing ‘The Love of Tired Swans’

Once again, Dimash takes us on a journey of discovery with his voice. He delivers a bass baritone whisper like it’s his speaking voice, drifting gently into a low soprano and then his mid-soprano range steps in and takes us soaring with him through every key change and octave climb. His dramatic performance is spell binding to the very last note.

Igor’s face as he accompanies him at the piano is curiously blank except for one moment where he actually cracks and shows his love of the sounds Dimash voice is producing. His own performance is flawless. Less really is more. Igor has collaborated with artists both in contemporary music and classical, such as Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Aida Garifullina, Andrea Bocelli, Lara Fabian, Alla Pugacheva and Irina Allegrova and now Dimash Qudaibergen!

Hope you enjoy this little trip into Dimash world again!

Dimash Qudaibergen: A Musical Phenomenon? You Decide…

So, a couple of days ago I put a post up called A Side trip into Musical taste where I expounded the singing virtues of Dimash Qudaibergen.

As a follow up to that I thought I might make it a regular post, a video and a discussion about what I’ve experienced while watching and listening to him sing each song. On YouTube, I suppose this would be called a ‘reaction video’ except that I am not going to be pulling silly shocked faces or jumping about in a comedic manner in order to get likes and subscribers.

So, my reasons for doing this are, one, I don’t want to be on YouTube and currently that appears to be the only place to be able to do this kind of watch and discuss type of thing. Two, I want to introduce Dimash’s music to as many people as possible because his voice just makes the world a much better place to be. Countless times I have found myself crying and smiling at the same time as his voice takes me on a musical journey, and I always feel better after listening to him sing. And finally three, I love music. Plain and simple, it feeds me when nothing else can. It calms me, soothes me, and makes me feel complete.

So, without further ado, today’s video is Opera 2. This is Dimash’s second performance in the contest ‘The Singer 2017’ in China. This competition is for professional Chinese singers and bands to compete against each other and be crowned ‘The Singer’. As I said in my first post, Dimash was the first foreign artist to ever be invited to compete in this competition, although he was already a household name in his own country, Kazakhstan.
The judging for the competition is so complex I struggled to follow how it all worked, but basically, the audience is made up of 500 members of the public and what appears to be a panel of executives for the show hidden in the audience too, who vote each week for their favourite artist and then those votes appear to be broken down and split off into different sections for voting purposes. I watched the entire season and I still don’t really have a clue as to how the voting actually worked.

So the back story to this performance is that Dimash was feeling very homesick and was missing his family and homeland terribly. He just wanted to go home. He was effectively alone in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from Kazakhstan. He didn’t speak Chinese except for a smattering,(although he has since learnt and now sings in mandarin frequently) and he was reliant on a translator for communication which left him out of the general chat between the artists backstage quite a lot, he was just 23 and is very family orientated and so felt very isolated.

Regardless of that, he pulled off a spectacular performance and thrilled the audience with his vocal versatility. He performed the song in its original Russian language. (There are sub titles though!) Personally, I love his stage presence throughout this performance, he sets the scene and creates an atmosphere that immediately draws the audience in to his story telling. The contrast between this performance and his first performance of S.O.S is huge. His first performance was dramatic, emotional and heartrending. This performance is playful, cheeky and full of mischief. He completely wins the audience over especially when he adds his own section to the end of the song where he raises the operatic notes three keys! He does this with so much ease it is astounding!

I would not want to be the artist who had to follow his performance! I would hang up my mic and say the competition is over, he won!

I confess, I cried at the end when Dimash realised his Papa was in the audience and I was so touched at the expression on his face when he saw him stage side! He also made me smile when he asked his Papa if he had sung well! This boy is so humble and unassuming!

(By the way, Dimash is 6 ft 3″ tall and the costume department for the show struggled to find stage outfits that would fit his long legs. You will see him perform in some very odd outfits! Most of the time his trousers were too short for him!)

However, this performance was not without it’s drama although it came from an external source.

The song Opera 2 was originally written and performed by the Russian Opera singer, Vitas. When he heard Dimash’s version of his song he apparently threw a giant hissy fit and threatened to sue Dimash if he ever sang it live again! He insisted that Dimash was mocking him throughout the song by raising the key three times rather than just the once as Vitas does in the original. Vitas has since re-released Opera 2 in 2020 as a new and updated version, which incorporates three other singers into the performance. The video below is the original.

I just think it’s a shame that Vitas took the stance he did over Dimash’s performance of his signature song. Rather than embrace it and applaud Dimash for the way he honoured the song, he chose to be bitter and took it as a personal affront to his own technical singing abilities. Regardless, no matter how Vitas chooses to view Dimash’s version of his song, it has catapulted Vitas back into the public arena, when his light was otherwise dimming everywhere except Russia. I can’t remember the last time I heard his name prior to 2017 and I can honestly say, I listen to Opera and classical every day, I research new artists, and revisit old ones, Vitas, while I had heard of him and knew the song Opera 2, has not made any impact that I can see, on the Operatic world in quite some time. It’s a shame that he chose to make himself appear bitter and conceited when he did have the opportunity to make his presence felt again.

Personally, I don’t rate him.

You can make your own comparisons.

Hope you enjoy this little side trip into the world of Dimash’s beautiful and astounding voice.

Have a great day peeps!