CHICAGO (CBS) — One minute, Andrew Johnston was just a songbird on a Chicago street. The next, Grammy award winner Sam Smith was admiring his vocals.
In the rush of commuters, it’s easy to brush by and mute some of the talented street performers. Johnston, who happens to be one of those performers, regularly sings his version of a popular Smith song at the corner of State and Washington.
His performance was too powerful for passerby Miguel Acosta to ignore. He stopped to listen, and even reordered Johnston singing, which he then shared to Twitter.
“I’m thinking somebody is blasting Sam Smith from their car, but I’m looking and it’s not coming from a car,” Acosta said, adding that he thought there was no way someone other than Smith could be singing.
Johnston’s talent is undeniable — he’s a regular on the street and CTA platforms.
“That’s been my job for, like, a couple of years, and I couldn’t have a better job, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” he said.
Smith saw Acosta’s tweet of Johnston’s street performance and retweeted the video. He also personally reached out to Johnston, praising the aspiring singer’s talent.
“I’m looking at my phone, it said ‘Sam Smith World retweeted’ and I’m like hold the phone. I always have that too good to be true moment,” Johnston said. “And Sam Smith has now shared it, it’s confirmation of something that I came to believe in myself — that I can do it.”
So, what’s next for Johnston? He says he hopes to take his voice from the streets to arenas and, someday, sing alongside Smith himself.