New to the block of soul and R&B, Hidden Beach gives us Keite Young. Hailing all the way from Fort Worth, Texas with his funky blend of gospel, soul, and R&B, Keite’s debut album The Rise and Fall of Keite Young is in stores now.
Very modest, Keite says that he was inspired by the legends and not only the legends of R&B but the legends of rock and roll. He says that his album has something on it for everyone. From his sultry duet with native Texan N’Dambi “If We Were Alone,” to the oh so smooth “Pray,” and to the funky track “Pressure,” Keite displays an incredible amount of versatility with his style and voice.
TEN QUESTIONS FOR KEITE YOUNG
What’s it like being the new kid on the block of soul and R&B?
At times it can be a it of a challenge because this particular audience can be really protective of its favorites. You got your Jill Scott, Insia.Arie, D’Angelo, and when you’re me and coming a bit edgier than most, takes a little more tome for people to cosign.
How would you define your style and sound?
Just passion, you what I mean? I think everything I try to do I try to infuse it with my passion and creativity. I try to put my foot in it. I’m always going hard. I only have one lifetime so I am trying to give it my all each and every time.
How did you get hooked up with Hidden Beach?
My great uncle Wayman Tisdale was over having I think—Thanksgiving Dinner and I was in my makeshift studio, which was really my grandmom’s gameroom. He came in and heard some stuff I was doing and was really taken aback. He told me to give him some of my work and he’d get me a record deal.
He let Steve over at Hidden Beach hear it and he went bananas. They [Hidden Beach] got me out there and from there we made it happen.
How Did the Duet With N’Dambi If We Were Alone Come About?
Well you know, N’Dambi and I are from about the same hood. She’s from Dallas and I’m from Fort Worth. I’ve knew her prior to the record deal and we always wanted to do something together professionally. Well, I was attending Hidden Beach’s Internship Conference in Louisiana and I met Monica who at the time was managing N’Dambi. We connected at the point and the rest is history as they say.
What’s Your Favorite Track on Your New Album?
Wow! I don’t think I have a favorite one. It kind of depends on the mood I am in. I think all of the songs have their relevancy which is centered around life and feelings. Day to day life, whether it be happiness or anger, it all depends on wherever I happen to be that day or hour. But to me honest, I really don’t listen to my own ,music that much.
Who are Your Musical Influences?
I have to say that this question always gets me. I’m a big believer that if you want to be a legend, you have to listen to what the legends listened to. So my heroes are Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Sly Stone, Al Greene, Jimi Hendrix, The Beetles, Led Zeppelin, James Morrison. They all had mad stage presence and those cats really played a part in shaping my own music and stage presence.
If You Could Record a Song With Anyone, Past or Present, Who Would It Be?
That’s tough. I’ve never been asked that. I would have to say Aretha Franklin because as far as favorite voice go, to me she’s the ultimate.
Who’s In Your Ipod?
Everything and everyone. From Thelonius Monk, Nine Inch Nails, Wolfmother, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix. Everything. Fela Kuti. Everything.
What’s Your Take on Today’s Music Industry?
The people are wanting more. Music for a while had gotten so disposable. Today’s music lover wants more. It’s okay to have your club joints but people want more. You have some artists that are independent and I thin now people are wanting to communicate. You have your Corrine Bailey Rae, John Legend, and Anthony David who have been around for awhile but are starting to be recognized for their envisioned flavor of soul. It’s encouraging and makes it a little easier for people to sit and listen to you.
But at the same tine everyone is trying to figure out how to distribute. Record companies are at a lost on how to get music to the people and see a return. Because of Apple and Amazon a lot of Mom and Pop stores closed down. The people weren’t buying music just for two songs. So they rebelled and started downloading for free.
I think as long as there is art there are going to be people who will want to exploit that art.
On the Rise and Fall of Keite Young, there’s something for everyone. Hopefully people will enjoy it.
Little Brother with Getback out September 25th
Jill Scott with The Real Thing out September 25th
Angie Stone with The Art of Love & War out October 16th