On January 21st, it's been one year since Dimash Kudaibergen left the world in awe with his goosebump inducing vocals that honestly, didn't - couldn't - leave anyone indifferent.
I knew that I knew him, saw him singing before, when I watched this rendition of SOS d'un terrien un détresse of his. Then it struck me that it was his performance of Daididau I watched couple of months before that, when he won Slavyanskiy Bazar 2015. I wasn't impressed with his looks before (because his style really was terrible, especially that haircut, jeez), but singing - well, is it ever easy to be not impressed with his singing? I did remember then that I actually saw him performing live just two month before, because it was him, one of the mentors at Bala Dauysy 2016, who performed alongside his student, when his vocal abilities induced nothing but raised eyebrows and silent accusatory "what the hell is he doing with all those high notes, he's outsinging his own mentee, is it even necessary?"
These memories soon died out, because a) I was surprised to know that was actually him, the same guy I saw two months ago live and months prior on a video, guy with Vitas-like notes and a gruesome sense of style and b) I was surprised that yes, the notes went on usual measured opera level quality and yes, he looks so different and so... impeccably good now? "Hm, Chinese do know their stuff at styling then" - I thought. Most importantly, I was surprised how the whole thing was making me feel, as I couldn't remember any time when I've felt a song penetrating right through the bones, serving literal chills and perfectly transporting the mood and emotions it's supposed to transcend.
At that point, I didn't even care he's been pronouncing some of the words terribly wrong (even with my very limited knowledge of French, I did cringe a little on those riS and viS), because that was absolutely brilliant. Clean, meticulously controlled to ensure perfect execution but so very much heartfelt and simply - beautiful.
I want to congratulate Dimash with his achievements and thank this overnight rise to international stardom. He surely does deserve this.
Keep it up, #DQ.
And good luck.