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.

Music Editor

Bill Forman is the music and film editor of the Colorado Springs Indy, as well as the former editor of Tower Pulse Magazine and news editor for the Sacramento News & Review.

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