ALMATY/March 14 (The Bulletin) – A 20-year-old DJ from Aksu, near Pavlodar in Kazakhstan, won the country’s first Grammy award, considered to be perhaps the top accolade in music.
Imanbek Zeikenov won the Best Remixed Recording category for his remix of Saint Jhn’s 2016 song ‘Roses’.
“The best thing for a musician is to get a Grammy, we made it!” Imanbek, as he is known, said.
Kazakh President Kassym Jomart Tokayev sent his congratulations, highlighting the pride that Kazakhs, more used to winning boxing, wrestling and horse riding tournaments than music awards, have taken in the win.
“His work has demonstrated that gifted young people from Kazakhstan can reach great heights,” Mr Tokayev’s spokesman said.
Imanbek released his remix of ‘Roses’ onto Russian social media channels and then watched as it went viral. In March 2020 it rose to the top of the British singles charts. Spotify, the music streaming app, said that it had been played 1.2b times.
He has since left his job working for Kazakh Railways to concentrate on making music.
This story was first published in issue 475 of the weekly Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin