There are many paths to success, but one of the more unusual ones was traveled by the Guyanese American singer/rapper SAINt JHN. For three years, his achingly infectious “Roses” single had gone relatively unnoticed, until a 19-year old amateur deejay named Imanbek Zeikenov — who at the time was working in a train station in a small village in Kazakhstan — uploaded an unauthorized (aka technically illegal) deep-house remix that went viral on TikTok last year.
It was an unlikely win-win situation, with Zeikenov taking home a 2021 Grammy for Best Remixed Recording and SAINt JHN parlaying the multi-platinum hit into collaborations with Kanye, a modeling gig with Gucci, and his current headlining tour. Onstage, he’s known to be a wildly energetic performer who’s got the whole live auto-crooning thing down to a science. During his pre-COVID tour, SAINt JHN would also end shows by getting his audiences to drop to their knees so he could lead them in prayer. By all appearances, it worked.