Multi-award winning R&B powerhouse Keonté Beals controls the pulse of an entire crowd from the moment he takes the stage. With a live energy that can be compared to no other, Beals’s resume boasts industry nods including recently winning the East Coast Music Associations R&B/Soul Recording of the Year award for his album KING - African Nova Scotian Music Association’s Artist of the Year 2020 and Music Nova Scotia’s African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year 2019—not to mention multiple East Coast Music Award nominations and much more. Undoubtedly, the North Preston, Halifax Nova Scotia-based singer, songwriter, producer and performer embodies a unique potent impulse—and the entire east coast of Canada knows it.
North Preston has a historic lineage of growing the biggest voices in Nova Scotia through its strong gospel scene and church community. Beals keeps this tradition going with his own powerhouse pipes, which first wowed crowds when, at 16, he gave his solo debut at his home church. Pivoting into an early 2000s-influenced R&B sound as he began to create his own music, Beals’s colorful body of work highlights the range of his talent and musicality. He has a voice that breaks generational boundaries, backed by a sonic palette that draws easy comparison to the work of Usher, Anthony Hamilton and Elijah Blake.
Beals “is a beautiful singer with key skills to match, and he’s only just out of his teens” (The Coast) and “everything he does revolves around music” (Halifax Magazine). His new album KING and its lead single—the mental health anthem “KING”, which shreds toxic masculinity over a red-hot beat—prove it.
Discussing the album, Beals says: “‘King’ embodies my experience of being a young, successful black man in today's society: Having to be solid and strong, despite the pressures of society. Toxic masculinity that is more of a brand rather than a character trait. ‘King’ doesn’t describe myself as being king of everything, but rather using the term as a figure of speech to symbolize the rock of a crumbling empire—the rock being myself and the empire being mental health, stigma, police brutality, etc. Black men are pushed into a box and anything outside of that box is side-eyed and unacceptable. ‘King’ is a musical war cry directly targeting the barriers of toxic masculinity and stigma to get to the core. Starting the conversation."