Friday, February 10, 12pm
Alderney Gate Public Library, 60 Alderney Drive
R&B and pop artist, singer-songwriter and piano player Keonté Beals is releasing a single from his debut EP, Keonté Beals, titled "4 Ever" on February 7, after a two-and-a-half-year creation process.
"I'm hoping that I can finally put my print out there and just show people how Keonté the musician and artist has developed," says Beals, a 20-year-old multi-award winner.
He started his music career in 2014 after releasing a YouTube cover of the song "I'm Here" from the Broadway musical adaptation of The Color Purple.
"I thought it would be a very good message to spread and the reaction to it was amazing," says Beals. "It changed things for me. The message gave the impression that no matter how much I've been through, I'm going to use all that I have to show you that I'm here."
In 2016, Beals' debut single "#ManDown" was nominated for three Music Nova Scotia awards. "I lost four cousins due to gunfire in the community and that song describes how I felt," says Beals, who is from North Preston. "Some people thought that the song was about the person shot and killed, but I was the man down."
Beals says that his EP—slated for release this May—will have some of the personal closure and healing found in "#ManDown," but it's going to include some fun tunes as well. "I'm going to show the fun, serious and loving side of myself."
Beals is also going to display much of what he learned from the music arts program at Nova Scotia Community College through his upcoming EP. "The program had impacted my whole career," says Beals, who will be returning to the program in September after taking some time off. "Making the EP took so long because I finally understood how music works and how to write songs."
Beals also experimented with EDM, which he says, "was definitely out of the way for me," but the program encouraged him to experiment with different genres.
Gee Clarke, an audio engineer and artist with Kin Crew, helped Beals co-write and produce the EP's second single, "4 Ever." "Keonté is a great musical inspiration and I'm really good with the technical side of things so we made a good team," says Clarke.
"This project was really a product of my soul," says Beals. "And I hope the feedback will be positive for sure."