Christophe, professionally known as Dantès – or « Dai Liang » which means ‘the light bearer and the one who’s from Lyon’ in Chinese, is a French singer and song-writer who’s been living in Shanghai for 12 years.
He’s the symbol of a successful alliance between two opposite cultures. He managed to seduce the Chinese audience by bringing his French style while abiding by the artistic codes of his host country.
“When I settled down in China in 2000, I was one of the rare French expats who could speak Chinese fluently; which enabled me to stand out.”
In 2005, after learning a lot about the Chinese TV and show business, I took part in a TV show about foreigners and the Chinese culture which made me popular.
Then I recorded an album. I was the first Westerner to compose songs written in Chinese. They deal with European themes and are popular among the Chinese youth, who see France as a romantic and culturally rich country. I bring my own touch by speaking about the culture of my country of origin."
As Europe is showing interest in opening up to the Asian world and in particular China, Dantès’s artistic activity is developing more and more in France.
“As I know the Chinese people’s way of living and habits very well, some town hall workers call me in to promote the Chinese culture in their city. I act as a link for those two nations both in France and China.
My force and popularity lie in the fact that I remained myself, authentic, while adapting to the country codes. To live abroad taught me that it’s important to fight for your dreams but also to be satisfied with what you have, even if it’s not much.
Although the Chinese and French cultures are very different, I quickly adapted to my host country and its lifestyle. I call both China and France home. I love the way people work in China. The scope of possibilities is wide and everything moves and evolves fast here.
I also enjoy the combination of tradition and modernity here. When my leg got broken a few years ago, I benefitted from cutting-edge cares that mix Western and Chinese medicines. The surgery happened quickly and went well although I never really felt pampered. There’s no time nor enough space for that. It’s in the nature of the country’s culture and lifestyle.
That is what I miss from France: the way people bond and socialize.
But I found my perfect balance. Over the last year, I’ve been going back to France regularly to give concerts; which enables me to make the most of everything I love in both countries.”