Truth To Power Project: Q&A with Keite Young

We went behind the scenes of the Truth To Power Project with Executive Producer and artist Keite Young to discuss how the project aims to raise up marginalized voices and give back to the community, what advice he has for young artists today, and what it was like working with fellow Fort-Worth talent Leon Bridges on their incredible reworking of Pastor T.L Barrett’s 1971 song, ‘Like A Ship’.

Visit the Truth To Power Project to find out more about the astonishing collective of creative talent who share a commitment to racial equity and have donated their time to the project, the incredible 3LP set being released on Record Store Day, and how the proceeds generated by this project will go directly into the hands of Black-led, community-based non-profits in Dallas Fort-Worth and beyond.

What drew you to want to work on this project?

It was the call to action from the community and the larger society in general. Myself, along with other creatives I know, were all having conversations about how we could most effectively respond. (Broadcaster, Producer, and Eastwood Music Group co-Founder) Skin and I had been speaking on and off about collaborating and the timing of events sort of just aligned our responses, so we started to work together. 

What was it like collaborating with fellow Fort Worth artist Leon Bridges?

It was a bit of a full circle moment for me. Growing up in the same place, you tend to have similar references for judging progress. When I started my career, Leon was literally a kid and there was not much going on in Fort Worth outside of gospel and blues. To be involved with a project of such importance to the community with my hometown comrade at this point in my career fills me with humility and gratitude. 

Are there any memorable moments that will stick with you from making the track?

So many, but I will remember vividly just listening back to what had been an intense and laborious session and thinking that we’d just accomplished something very important for our community. Everything from the scheduling talent and who was available to play worked out perfectly, but not as planned. When things just work out that way, you know something special is happening. 

This project is all about driving change and building communities. What message do you hope audiences get from this project?

My hope is that people will listen to us and be challenged to not only be intentional when addressing social change in their communities but weigh their own hearts and have the tough conversations necessary for us to grow healthily together. We are all a part of the larger human family and it’s our responsibility to make sure our institutions reflect those basic values of fairness and freedom. 

One of the non-profits involved is the Music Forward Foundation that helps support young diverse voices enter the music industry. Do you have any advice for the next generation of musicians?

Yes…be vulnerable. Be open and genuine. Be the catalyst that brings people together. Be the story tellers. Because, whether you’re aware of it or not, someone is listening. Someone is watching, and they’re just looking for a reason to keep going. Give them your art. Give them yourself. 

Are there any tracks on the album by other artists that have become favorites of yours or that you can’t wait to hear?

I can’t wait to hear all of them! So many friends who stepped up and so many people behind the scenes who’ve worked so hard, I just can’t wait to hear/see it all come together!

FirstCom Music, as part of Universal Music Publishing Group, are a proud sponsor and supporter of the Truth To Power Project.

To get involved:

1) Purchase the Truth to Power Project album and/or accompanying merch on Record Store Day, June 12th.
2) Visit and donate directly to the Truth to Power fund.
3) Follow Truth to Power on Instagram and Facebook, and spread the word about not only this album, but the ongoing work of the broader Truth to Power Initiative.

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