"Alone" on a Bus With Keite Young and N'Dambi
Fort Worth soul singer Keite Young hasn't gotten much pub in the local press (yet -- we hear there's a Q&A in tomorrow's Quick), which probably doesn't bug him much; the former member of Kirk Franklin's choir would probably trade the hometown love for the attention he's received elsewhere. Besides, the ordained minister (when he was 15, for real) has a CD due shortly on the same label that's home to Jill Scott; titled The Rise and Fall of Keite Young, it's scheduled to arrive in stores June 12, but the entirety of the album's available for streaming on his Hidden Beach homepage.
What we've had time to listen to suggests a young man raised on Al Green and Prince; can't imagine better influences. And we're enormously fond of the second single, "If We Were Alone," which, we're happy to see and say, is a duet with Chonita Gilbert -- or N'Dambi, as she was known way back in 1999, when we first wrote about Erykah Badu's former backup singer. Which reminds me: We didn't mention that last month N'Dambi (along with Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone) was signed to the legendary Stax Records label, which Concord Music Group is relaunching in the summer. N'Dambi's third album -- her first since leaving Dallas for Los Angeles a couple of years back -- is due in a few months.
As for her duet with Young, a press release sent our way describes the tune thusly: "I don't know anyone who hasn't seen a beautiful stranger on the subway, sidewalk or in this case the bus and let their imaginations run wild, even for just a brief moment." So that's what it's about. You can check it out for yourself below. --Robert Wilonsky
Keite Young and N'Dambi, "If We Were Alone" (from the forthcoming album The Rise and Fall of Keite Young)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.