Conflict is at the heart of much of the world’s greatest artistic expression. A play, movie or novel without some inherent conflict can easily become a fairly boring experience. While music is different – in that pure, unconfused expressions of joy, truth and honest emotion can be extraordinarily gratifying and inspiring – a healthy dose of conflict can also make a musician’s journey a far more interesting experience for the listener. Keite Young’s journey, which at this point has been rife with conflict, is the culmination of an extraordinary series of life events that have manifested themselves into this CD project you now hold in your hands. The different stops made along the way on this journey thus far comprise this exciting debut project, which we believe to be an important introduction of a new voice in music.
During the course of the recordings, Keite has gone through several transformations that usually span entire careers. Ordained a preacher at age 14, a star on the local church circuit, and later a member of the Kirk Franklin and the Family touring posse, Keite entered the doors of Hidden Beach as the first male artist signed to our inspirational imprint, Still Waters. While Keite’s spiritual observations, revelations and opinions delivered through music are just as spell bounding as if he were preaching from a pulpit, shortly before the release of this record, Keite found the framework of a solely inspirational platform to be too confining. His views that we are all both spiritual and sensual human beings at the same time, seemed to him to be at odds with some of the more traditional messages emanating from many of the organized religious establishments. Furthermore, the fantasy explored in songs written after this revelation like “If We Were Alone,” (where two people who just met imagine “making love on the ceiling,” among other places) as well as his analysis of the inherent conflict that often (dare I say, usually) exists in romantic relationships, seemed incapable of being expressed on an album originally designed to solely impart spiritual messages.
In the end, the primary mission of recordings produced under the Hidden Beach banner is to preserve honest emotion with the understanding that it is often times the most personal of messages that have the most universal appeal. Keite’s journey while making this record which saw him in a rather short period of time, go from being a young single man yet to live alone in a big city – to being an excited newlywed – an expectant father, and now – by the time this record is available to the public – to a newly divorced, single father embarking on a solo career as a recording artist. All aspects of this journey, from the spiritual to the secular and more are packed inside the notes sung on this album. In fact, with Keite standing in such disparate places at different times during the recording of this record, some material recorded even a scant few months, sometimes weeks and even days earlier, on their face could be seen to be at odds with the present day Keite. Yet, in fact, the opposite is true. The truth of the matter is that every note recorded was an honest reflection of what Keite may have been going through at that specific time and it is precisely the experiences behind the songs that have helped to make the young man that stands before you on this record. For example, Keite’s touching introduction where he thanks his beloved son (recorded shortly after sonogram results disclosed the sex of his then unborn child) and his “beloved wife” seems odd at best to those close to Keite with knowledge of his current agonizing split from the very same woman he sung so passionately about a short time before. The decision was made throughout not to change a note, a word or a breath, but to keep every sentiment as pure and intact as the moment it was uttered or played.
Like artists have throughout time, Keite invites you to accompany him and share his journey, the joy and pain, the ups and downs – the rise and fall if you will - and most importantly, he shares the lessons he has learned, first with the purpose of sharing because in sharing there is healing, but also with the intention that you just might be touched, moved, or otherwise inspired by his travels and see a bit of yourself in some of his journey. Whether you choose to dig through the many layers that comprise this important recording or just simply groove out and enjoy some beautiful sounds and funky performances, we hope you enjoy this record for a lifetime.