What I Did Over Labor Day (Dimash!)

One is supposed to make good use of three day weekends, which for me includes sleeping in to brace myself for a busy month (yeah I get some vacation, but waah my mother’s bank was acquired, and so I have to deal with the root-canal-level pleasure of moving all of her auto pays and transfers and Social Security deposits over to her new account). As part of my break, I listened to Dimash Qudaibergen performed two new works at the Sochi New Wave festival (including I have to admit some vocal coach reaction videos too). They’ve already gotten a lot of views on YouTube.

Yes, I know I started a musical interlude feature that I had to abandon. The submissions I got from readers told me my tastes were too narrow (as in tending too much to classical and “world” music, as in non-Western) to be a good fit with reader appetite.

But I am still going to give you the latest from Dimash (if you don’t know who he is yet, I anticipate you will be pleased to discover him). He does sing popular-style songs as well, but I like his songs in Chinese pop songs better than his ones in English.

Trust me and listen, and better yet, enlarge the video to full screen. Both are original compositions by Igor Krutoy, who is also playing the piano.

The Ave Maria derives from Schubert, Not only did Krutoy compose it for Dimash, he said he does not believe anyone else could sing it.

In Stranger, Dimash does a bit of vocal fry with his baritone. He’s used that technique in other songs. He has a lovely rich baritone and I wish we’d hear that sound more often, but I understand why he wanted that effect here. And that is probably the least exciting part of this performance.


New ground
Far as I can see
New ground
Underneath my feet
In a stranger’s land
New chance to know who I am
If I have the strength
To begin again

Somewhere in my heart in ancient times I wandered
Through these valleys I have climbed among these hills
Faces from a past I’m haunted by their mem’ries
Lives and loves I’ve lost I feel them in me still

New ground
Far as I can see
New ground
Underneath my feet
In a stranger’s land
New chance to know who I am
If I have the strength
To begin again

As our aide Parrish put it, “That’s crazy.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. Yves Smith Post author

      In that one, I neglected to include one of his more popular performances, another Igor Krutoy piece, Ogni Peitra also called Olympico. This one appears to have been composed as a sort of rousing exhortation for the other performers at the Kazan World Skills. So although I am not wild about the lyrics, you do get to hear Dimash showing off his baritone (and also a contralto sound, as opposed to his countertenor, which he also deploys).

      And the big noisy production is fun. Everyone you can see performing appears to be having a grand time.

  1. Howard Beale IV

    Fascinating find – his works are on Amazon Music HD, so I’ll run this past my mother this morning to she if she likes him!

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Following Yves first recommendation I watched a few of his performances on youtube, and those algo’s kept sending me more, including those weirdly entertaining ‘reaction by music teacher’ videos. He really is remarkable, I’ve never heard anyone with a voice coming close.

  3. John B

    Thanks for introducing me to this. I would not have thought such a vocal range possible for a single human voice. I recall a movie about a famous 18th century opera singer, Farinelli, with an extraordinary range — but they digitally merged the voices of a soprano and a countertenor to produce it, and it lacked a baritone.

  4. Adams

    I’ve been down the Dimash rabbit hole of his performances and reactions many times. Thanks for these, which I hadn’t seen. “SOS” is still one of my favorites among so many incredible performances. I find his seamless transition among the vocal ranges to be the most unbelievable aspect of his incredible range. His stage presence is enchanting.

    My favorite reaction to “SOS” is by Katarina Kovacevic, who is knowledgeable (i.e. trained) and also amazed at Dimash’s artistry . It’s in Serbian with subtitles, which adds to the fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIunfXKQh44

    Dimash’s appeal is universal and international. From everything I have read he is also a truly genuine and decent human being.

  5. DrSloperWazRobbed

    Wow, that was amazing, interesting, and not what I was expecting if I was expecting anything. I didn’t know it was possible to have that kind of vocal range. Parrish nailed it-that is crazy.

    I love this musical interlude-thing. I myself have narrow musical tastes (forward-thinking electronic) but enjoy everything. I enjoy musical tourism. And the fact that we know it isn’t for profit or affiliate etc marketing? IMO priceless.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Dave in Austin

    I’d never heard of him before but on Yves’ advise I gave him a try.

    Amazing voice. There is a tradition of post-language emotional projection from chant through opera to our modern electronic music which resonates with many people, including myself. Tuvan throat singing, Penderecki’s passion, Natacha Atlas, the Mesa Luba Choir and the Khronos Quartet have something in common, but I can’t tell you what it is except they all seem to press the same button.

    And Freddie Mercury was St. John the Baptist, not the messiah but the one who comes before him. The internet allows us to see Chinese, Euro, Central Asian and Islamic competitions- all the winners spring from within a tradition, honor it, are both calculating and clueless… and beautiful.

    But the mass media remains nationalist everywhere. May the new music help make the new future.

    Great find. Thank you.

  7. sj

    My God, what is his vocal range? That was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.

    I haven’t listened to Chinese pop, but I prefer Middle Eastern pop to American. Even though it is very hard to find.

  8. jw

    A small correction–Igor Krutoy composed Olympico for Dimash for the opening ceremony of the 2nd European Games held in Minsk, Belarus in 2019, where over 3,500 athletes from 50 countries competed in 200 events.

    Dimash is the most exciting and skilled vocal artist in the world today!

Comments are closed.