With her unique family background as the daughter of a Tibetan Lama and a highly spiritual mother, Dechen Shak-Dagsay grew up absorbing the beautiful wisdom of her parents and yet at the same time integrating the modern western world. Convinced that the chanting of the ancient mantras that filled her Tibetan environment as a child could also be beneficial to her Western friends, Dechen found a way to open the hearts of the Westerners for the Tibetan Mantras.
Dechen is a Swiss/Tibetan artist who has lived most of her life in Switzerland. Although Switzerland was to become her new home, she never forgot her roots. She is the eldest daughter of Dagsay Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama who gave her the transmission of the precious Mantras that she is singing all over the world. Dechen is married to a Tibetan doctor and is a mother of two daughters. Besides her musical career, she has been teaching Tai Chi Chuan for many years. She lives in a small village overlooking the lake of Zurich. In 1994 Ryuichi Sakamoto asked Dechen to sing for the soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci’s famous movie Little Buddha.
Dechen’s first debut album, Dewa Che, Universal Healing Power of Tibetan Mantras, appeared in 1999. It was a great success, spread around the globe and was subsequently honored with Switzerland’s Gold Record and the ‘Best Spiritual Album’ in the U.S. Seven more albums were to follow. In 2003 Dechen had the privilege to perform for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Olympic Stadium in Munich as well as on many other auspicious occasions. The documentary Daheim in zwei Welten (At home in two worlds), produced in 2006 by Swiss National Television SF, made her known to a broad public in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A very special musical cooperation started in 2009 with the project BEYOND, on which Dechen was invited by Tina Turner and Regula Curti to represent the Buddhist voice on a spiritual album promoting peace and understanding between the various religious faiths. The BEYOND record went gold and platinum.
In 2010 she started to collaborate with Swiss producer Helge van Dyk and brought out her album JEWEL, Joyful Heart through Precious Tibetan Mantras. 2012 JEWEL brought Dechen and her ensemble to Hong Kong, South Korea, India and as a special highlight she was invited by Philip Glass to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2014 ASIAN JEWEL was released. In addition to the CD, this album includes a DVD with interviews, Chinese subtitles and a live-concert. Whilst in the West Dechen’s music has already become a part of modern lifestyle used for Yoga, Tai Chi, Wellness and Therapeutic Healing Centers, she wishes to bring her music to Asia. She chose Taiwan to introduce her music to Asia. Having been there already at the age of 14 and again later to study Mandarin and Tai Chi for almost a year she is happy to be back.
The German publishing house Ullstein (comparable with publishers like Random House) brought out Dechen`s first book Mantras in August 2014. This book describes her experiences during the last 25 years since she started to sing the Tibetan Mantras and positive effects they have had on the audiences where ever she went. On 31st October Dechen and Helge will be amongst a number of selected artists who will receive the ‘International TARA AWARD’ by Ven. Mae Chee Sansanee from the Sathira Dhammasathan Center in Thailand. This award is given to them for their album JEWEL in recognition for creating peace through music in this world. The ceremony will take place at the Sathira Dhammasathan Center in Bangkok with HRH Princess Srirasmi Royal Consort of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn doing the opening ceremony. Dechen and Helge are deeply honored to give a ‘Tara Concert’ at this very special Award Ceremony.
‘Day Tomorrow’ is the title of the next album, which shows a very modern approach to make wisdom of the ancient philosophy accessible to many people. The album release will be in February 2015 by Universal Music, Switzerland.
“I am very happy and grateful that I have been able to touch the hearts of so many people with my music, and help them to discover their own true nature which is pure love and compassion.” ~Dechen Shak-Dagsay