Keite Young Returns as PREACHER, with ~Pourri

From the moment Preacher stepped on stage, at Rolling Stone’s SXSW Future of Music showcase, the energy in the room drastically shifted. What once was a bustling, inattentive and chatty crowd was now stunned, gazing in awe at the smooth sounds of Preacher. Opening with a upbeat, soul shaking custom cover of “Hallelujah,” he dazzled Austin’s Moody Theater with his full band and choir accompaniment, commanding the room in a fully-sequined suit. His music, which can be seen as, but not limited to, a mix of alternative soul and blues rock, was quick to get the crowd swaying, kicking off an intimate set of immeasurable musical talent.

Preacher also tells Rolling Stone that “Hallelujah” is his wife’s favorite song, so he knew he had to put his spin on the classic tune. In fact, Preacher’s wife, Suzy Batiz, is a huge part of his overall creative inspiration. Batiz, who is the CEO and Founder of ~Pourri, is responsible for coining his new identity, and driving him back towards his passion for music. “Otherwise, I was done releasing music,” Preacher admits. “I didn’t have to, but she kind of called me forward.” Formerly known as Keite Young, a popular neo-soul artist on a major label, Preacher is now ready to show the world a brand new side of himself and his music.

More than just a stage name, Preacher’s personality and aura is that of an actual preacher. He speaks with conviction and passion, often tying tidbits of his life into messages of spirituality and connectedness. Not to mention, Young is living in a 15,000 square foot renovated Methodist church, which has been converted into a state-of-the-art recording studio. It was there that Preacher and Batiz met, one-year-ago. “We spent literally two thousand hours just talking, in the first two months.” Preacher explains, mentioning the pair wrote over 30 songs together in this time. 

Intimacy, conversation and human connection are just some of the many things that inspire Preacher’s lyrics, along with personal authenticity and genuine life experience. “It was important for me to live in order to create art, and that’s why I’ve never really been discouraged,” Preacher says. “I’ve had periods where I hadn’t written a song in two years, just because I was living.” As a proud father, husband and artist, he believes these life experiences are crucial in fueling the flame needed to create his unique sound.

Considering so much of Preacher’s mission statement revolves around people and impactful conversation, it’s no surprise he has opened the floor for rising artists through his work with the Music Forward Foundation. The foundation, which is a Live-Nation non-profit organization, has committed themselves to providing transformational experiences to the youth in under-resourced communities. Through this, they’ve impacted 1 million young lives and have invested $29 Million towards providing musical experiences to kids who might not have these opportunities.

As a part of this initiative, the Truth to Power Project was born in 2021, which featured a non-profit compilation album with powerhouse artists such as Preacher, Leon Bridges and Black Pumas. Preacher explains that the album was born out of a desire to have stronger conversations around the pillars needed for the black community to be self-sustaining and regenerative. Through this, the project helps provide solutions by means of access, supporting local communities and empowering creatives to become champions. A second Truth to Power album is set to release this year. 

“I’m always investing my time or my mind into different creative ventures,” Preacher says. “My wife and I, we’re like creative tornados.”


Furthermore, one of Preacher’s biggest goals is to unite other underrepresented Texas musicians by giving them the opportunity to share their music with the world. At ~Pourri’s SXSW Future of Funk Industry Mixer, he achieved just that. Together, Preacher and Batiz carefully hand-selected a line-up of several talented emerging artists, such as Jimi Brass, Jada Amina, DJ Afrosheen, Zach Person and many more, to present their music to festival goers and industry professionals. Young explains the importance of fostering space for these talented artists, who were all chosen for their authenticity and embodiment of brave conversation within their art. “As soon as you create the opportunity (for the artists), people will be there to listen,” Preacher says. “Autonomy, agency, accountability and integrity are all we need to live the life we dream.”

It’s clear Preacher is finally living the life he has always dreamed. Through time, trial and tribulation, all roads have led him to this moment. Gearing up to release his debut independent album, he couldn’t be more excited to share his new music, far-and-wide. The record, which Preacher says is not confined to one genre, will be self-titled, as a reflection of this journey to his new identity, sound and lease on life.

Original Source