Keonté Beals is a North Preston native with an angelic voice and a knack for R&B. This year, at age 19, Beals received the 2016 Rising Star Award from the African Nova Scotian Music Association. Since then, Beals released his debut single "Man Down," with DJ Kin Crew. The song is personal for Beals.
"I've lost four cousins due to the violence that's been happening around Halifax...it's crazy...they were all close family, " says Beals. "Everything inside the song is exactly what happened."
Beals has been writing music forever, he says, and he's always been singing too. "But I was so shy," he says, laughing. "I'd only sing for like one person."
Beals recalls singing in public for the first time at his church, beginning when he was in grade eight, he says. Gospel is where his musical roots begin, but Beals sees now as his chance to experiment. "I like R&B, EDM... that kind of style," he says. "It's always good for a change."
Watch out for Beals' EP—he'll be dropping it in 2017.
Saturday, July 16, Hydrostone Park, 3pm, free