Young Kazakh singer Merey Zeinesh won the Grand Prix at the International Festival in New York. He dedicated his victory to the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence. The jury, which always consisted of only American singers and musicians, for the first time decided to award the prize - a crystal microphone to a foreign performer. The judges evaluated the unusual manner of vocals and charisma of the singer from Kazakhstan. The success made him determined to continue to participate in the international festivals, the talented musician admits.

 

Merey ZEINESH, GRAND PRIX WINNER:

The festival coincides with a significant date in the history of our country - the 25th anniversary of Independence. And with all my heart, I would like to dedicate this award to the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence. The flag of our country was waving in the hall, and I think that the audience learned about Kazakhstan, and they will love it just like we do.

 

Merey started his music career at the age of 12 in the children's pop group in Ust-Kamenogorsk. Then he went to Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts. After winning a grant, the young singer received the opportunity to study in the United States. At the age of 17, Merey Zeinesh wrote his first compositions, and in 2011, he became the winner of the World Pop Festival in South Korea. Further creative path brought the 25-year-old artist from Astana to New York. Producer Berik Kulmamirov, who has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, has become his mentor.  It was he who organized the exhibitions of Kazakh artists on Broadway, released  CDs of the Kazakh songs performed by American singers and who now insisted on the participation of the Kazakh vocalists in the music festival in New York.

 

Berik KULMAMIROV, PRODUCER:

After the performance of Merey Zeinesh, Americans were shocked that a singer from Kazakhstan has such talent. It was very significant achievement. The jury chose him for the Grand Prix, and he received the crystal microphone.

 

At the contest, Merey performed his own songs in the Kazakh language. Contestants performed some songs together. The festival featured all types of genres - pop, soul, funk, blues, country music.

 

Merey ZEINESH, GRAND PRIX WINNER:

It was an interesting experience to compare our Zhurgenov school, which I myself had graduated from with the performers here . Since music is an  international language and it has no boundaries.

 

In New York, Merey Zeinesh showed all his skills, which he received in Kazakhstan and improved in the U.S., thus proving the strength of the cultural ties between the countries.

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