Dimash Kudaibergen on China’s “I’m Singer”

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Dimash Kudaibergen rose from the small town of Aktobe in Kazakhstan to become an internationally recognized and world-famous artist. With his unique voice and wide vocal range, Dimash put Kazakhstan and the Kazakh culture on the world map. But all this success did not come to the young Kazakh singer by chance; he put in the hard work, and with the support of his family and musical trainers, he has participated in numerous singing competitions from the tender age of 5 years.

Throughout his childhood and early teens, Dimash participated, topped numerous singing competitions and received countless awards. His winning streak in these singing contests has continually placed this young Kazakh singer in the list of the world’s most coveted singers. His unique singing voice has become a global sensation.

This is the story of how China’s “I’m Singer” singing contest propelled Dimash Kudaibergen to international fame and success.

The Beginning of the Journey

In late 2016, Chinese Hunan Television held auditions for its fifth edition of the “I’m Singer” singing contest. It is at this time that Dimash Kudaibergen found his way to Changsha, China to take part in the auditions after the show’s director, Hong Tao extended a personal invitation to him. For his audition, Dimash gave an impressive performance exhibiting his powerful vocals and unique musicality.

It was during this audition that director Hong Tao says he ascertained that Dimash had the potential to become a star. Consequently, Kudaibergen was offered a spot, which he gladly accepted, as one of the eight

first-round singers to be featured on “I’m Singer’s” fifth edition.

China Meets Dimash Kudaibergen’s

On January 21, 2017, the first episode of the fifth edition of "I'm Singer" premiered on Hunan Television in China. During his inaugural performance, Dimash Kudaibergen sang his French rendition of Daniel Balavoine’s “SOS d’un Terrien en detressse.”

His performance awed the viewers and the judges, earning him a standing ovation from both the audience and fellow contestants. Dimash Kudaibergen was instantly loved in China and received the highest number of votes in 1st Episode of the singing contest show. This epic first impression in China was only the beginning of the musical sensation he was to become in the country.

Kudaibergen’s winning streak continued to the 2nd episode of the singing contest. He topped the ranks during the first knockouts round after receiving majority votes for performing his rendition of the Opera 2 composition.

Dimash Kudaibergen’s “I’m Singer” Journey

For the first challenge round, Dimash performed Queen’s “The Show must go on” and came in third place. This was followed by another third place for his performance of the “Late Autumn” Chinese song during the 4th episode of the “I’m Singer” singing contest.

Though he did not top the ranks, this performance was very significant to Dimash Kudaibergen as it was his first-ever performance of a Mandarin song. Seeing his enthusiasm for his Chinese fans and wanting to incorporate their culture into his music, Hunan Television named Dimash Kudaibergen a bridge for the Kazakh-Chinese cultural cooperation. To top it all, Dimash had the privilege of meeting his childhood icon,

Jackie Chan

It was during the second challenge round on the shows 5th episode that Dimash Kudaibergen recorded his lowest rank ever in the contest. Dimash came in 6th place after performing Mark Ronson and Bruno Mar’s hit song “Uptown Funk.” This set back was however just the catalyst Dimash needed to reclaim the top spot in the competition once again in the 6th episode of the singing contest show.

Dimash Kudaibergen was later to perform an English rendition of Lara Fabian’s “Adagio.” His performance was so outstanding that Lara Fabian herself acknowledged and congratulated him on her official Facebook page. This same performance is what planted the seed that bloomed into Dimash Kudaibergen and Lara Fabian’s future duet.

The 7th episode of Hunan Television's "I'm Singer" signing contest marked the third qualifiers round of the show. During this episode, Dimash Kudaibergen decided to fulfill one of his childhood dreams, which was to perform the traditional Kazakh song, “Daididau.” As a child, Kudaibergen dreamed of sharing the Kazakh culture with the world by performing the all-time classic song in world-class competition.

To fulfill this dream, Dimash sought the help of his classmates back in the National University of Astana. He flew back to Astana, gathered a team for his performance, acquired traditional Kazakh tailored costumes from the Ministry of sports and culture of Kazakhstan, and then flew back to China to present Kazakhstan to the world.

Dimash Kudaibergen began the spectacular performance by playing the traditional Kazakh instrument, the dombra, which he learned to play from his grandfather. Next, he performed a traditional Kazakh piece known as “Aday,” then finalized his performance by singing “Daididau” together with his team of classmates from Astana University.

Even though Dimash Kudaibergen came in third with his Kazakh traditional song performance, he achieved his goal of spreading his people’s culture to the world. His performance sparked a keen interest in Kazakh music and culture in China and across other Asian countries.

During the fourth knockout round of “I’m Singer” 8th episode, Dimash Kudaibergen performed Han Hong's “Daybreak," followed by his rendition of Eric Carmen's "All by Myself,” for the shows 9th episode. 

It was during the 10th episode of the show that Dimash decided it was about time he brought his music into the competition. He performed his single, “Unforgettable day” and to appreciate his growing Chinese fan base, Dimash had a section of the section translated into Mandarin. This rendition of “Unforgettable day” made an entry into Fresh Asia music chart and quickly topped the chart.

Dimash Kudaibergen, however, did not perform during the “I’m Singer” singing contest show’s 11th episode which was a knock out round since he was a first-round singer.

The Culmination of Hunan Television “I’m Singer”

When Dimash Kudaibergen joined the "I'm Singer" singing contest, all he hoped for was to at least reach the middle stage of the competition. But thanks to his impeccable talent, impressive hard work and the unwavering support of his Chinese fan base, Dimash made it further into the competition than he had imagined possible.

The 12th episode of “I’m Singer” featured the semi-finals of the singing contest. Dimash Kudaibergen sang his heart out as he performed Adriano Celentano’s “Confessa” in Italian followed by Inva Mula Tchako’s “The Diva Dance.” His outstanding performance saw Dimash rank second in the semi-finals and proceed to the finals of the singing contest.

For the grand finale, Dimash Kudaibergen dedicated his performance to one of his greatest music influencers and icons, Michael Jackson. Together with Chinese singer Laure Sang, Dimash performed a Michael Jackson tribute set during the 13th episode of the singing contest. The MJ tribute set consisted of the songs, “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Billie Jean,” “Dangerous,” and “Earth Song.” This final performance saw Dimash Kudaibergen complete Hunan Television’s “I’m Singer” singing contest in second place behind

Hong Kong’s singer Sandy Lam.

Dimash Kudaibergen made his final appearance on “I’m Singer” when he came back for the final episode of the singing contest. For the gala Biennial concert, Dimash performed his new Kazakh song "Give me love" for his Chinese fans.

The Rise and Rise of Dimash Kudaibergen

Dimash Kudaibergen may not have won the “I’m Singer” singing contest, but his participation did more for his musical career than any other singing contest he had ever done. Throughout the competition, his performances became prominent features the Fresh Asia Music chart among other various music charts in Asia.

Dimash Kudaibergen stopped being just a talented Kazakh singer and began attracting the attention of the Chinese and French media. He became a common guest in many Chinese and French TV programs as well as events.

The exposure on Hunan Television’s “I’m Singer” saw Dimash Kudaibergen establish a fan base in China and his fame spread across Asia. He bagged several awards in China including "Best Asian Singer" in China's Top Music Awards and "Most Popular International Singer" in Top Chinese Music Awards.

Dimash Kudaibergen’s stay in China during the “I’m Singer” singing contest influenced him to create his Chinese music. Among his notable accomplishments was his first Chinese single, "Eternal memories" which climbed to number 1 on the iTunes QQ chart on the same day it was released and was selected as the theme song for the movie: Battle of Memories.

Just as Hunan Television’s “I’m Singer” director Hang Tao had believed, Dimash Kudaibergen had the potential to become a star, and he continually worked his way up to stardom with his back-to-back hits. He wrote history on the singing contest show by being the youngest singer, at 22 years old, to ever compete in

the show. He amazed the audience with his talent that stood out and his vocals that excelled in comparison to the top-selling Chinese singers who were his competitors.

Dimash Kudaibergen is the biggest star to be born out of Hunan Television’s “I’m Singer” singing contest to date. Ultimately, the competition was one of the most significant catalysts to his fame and success beyond Kazakhstan and beyond Asia.