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  • The Gateway to Success of “Expat Idol” in China

    Post by : expatree

Composer and writer, singer, ceremony master, it might be a bit difficult to use a single word to describe a legendary story of a French man in Shanghai, who composes his own songs in Chinese. Christophe Hisquin, who goes by the stage name Dantès, has made a career by mixing his musical and linguistic skills. Although it’s not uncommon for expats in Shanghai, to speak good Mandarin, it is still rare for them to write songs in Chinese. But Dantès or Dai Liang, as he is known in Chinese, has made a name for himself doing just that.

Until now he has completed shooting several music videos for his favorite songs, such as “Douce Chine”and “Oh ma chérie”. The song tells the story of a man who struggles to attract the attention of the girl he has fallen in love with. Dantès composed the song in 2007, and he says romance is a major theme in his work.

“Of course I have the love for woman, the romantic love like we all have in the songs. But I also have the love for the culture.”

Dantès learned Chinese when he was 11 years old after he became curious about Gongfu. He came to China in 2000 and after that got a degree at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He then proceeded to stay in Shanghai. He started his local career by mixing Chinese language and French Pop-rock. After 7 years of hard work, he had released 4 albums, and he said he had to learn a great deal about theChinese culture in order to succeed here.

“Sometimes you have to understand others, what they want, the music in the artist way. It was difficult at the beginning to adapt to the Chinese director,as well as the Chinese people when they asked me to do things differently from a French guy.”

Dantès got his greatest inspiration from observing the daily life around him. He is glad that he does not have a 9am-5pm job, so that he can observe his friends in their kind of work, and write songs about them. He wrote 4 songs about the city of Shanghai, the songs won over both Chinese and foreign fans.

“He shares his love in China through his songs. I feel the real Dantès. I like the melody and very simple, but vivid melodies. I am 40 and my daughter is 14, both of us like Dantès’ songs. Maybe his songs attract the most between 25 and 35. My favorite song is <<I don’t know>>, the melody is very soft.”- comments from an expat fan.
“I am surprised he is singing in Chinese, it’s rare that a foreigner is singing in Chinese. Very good.”– says by another Chinese fan.

With increasing popularity, Dantès is coming busy, he performs 15-17 concerts a year around China with his band. He plays one performance weekly in a local bar, and hosts the band for French companies and plays in French cultural festivals. Dantès also records some lessons about French culture for French learners and he plans to play more in the future.
When Dantès was learning Chinese, all his peers were learning English and German. His father thought it a waste of time to learn such a faraway language, even more when Dantès decided to move to China. However, his father is now very proud of his son’s accomplishments in bridging French and Chinese culture through music.


Douce Chine (温柔中国)– French version

Oh ma chérie (我真的爱你)– Chinese version

« Le Français qui écrit et chante en chinois » Book + 2CDs

130 RMB (free shipping)
**Scan QR code below, go throuhg wechat payment, after that please send shipping address and contact phone number with paid details to

More information, please visit Dantès’ Boutique
Date:2014-12-19 12:59:42
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