BOOKING: – Justin Labadie
For Wichita-based, Texas-raised singer/songwriter Keo, making music is as much about the one creates and the songs one writes as it is about making deeper connections with the other people partaking in an artistic journey. From the unique flavors, perspectives, and performances they each contribute, Keo finds the “Them” that brings her project Keo & Them full circle.
First formed and conceptualized by Keo in 2018, the collective consists of Keo and a revolving door of musicians and collaborators, each of whose contributions would leave an indelible mark on the project’s ever-adapting sound that merges the worlds of 70’s pop and R&B with the moody glow of contemporary neo-soul and beyond. For Keo, the project’s sole constant member, the fluid line-up allowed her to become immersed and acquainted with a Wichita music scene she was completely new to and overwhelmed by. Through meeting, jamming, and performing with the Kansas town’s tight-knit and eclectic music scene in which Keo found something akin to a family.
With the band’s new EP, Don’t Say, finding that familial connection made for a crucial milestone, as the record is a deeply personal work that showcases Keo’s songwriting in a more vulnerable and brutally honest lens than ever before. As a result, the “Them” heard on Don’t Say consists of people Keo holds incredibly dear: Nathan Harrison (guitar), Cece Raheb (Bass), and Dexter McCoy(drums), with the latter two being part of Keo & Them’s first ever iteration. At its core Don’t Say is a record about acceptance of oneself within oneself, from the quirks that make us unique to the flaws and shortcomings that make us human beings. Between the soulful, somber sway of “Don’t Say,” to the stoic yet brutally honest self-reflection of “Be Still” and culminating in the funk-tinged, content confidence radiating throughout “Money Grooves”, Keo brings listeners along on a vulnerable story of self-growth wrapped in a three-track package of suave, cleverly arranged neo-soul.
Check out Keo & Them’s interview with KAKE News (2/17/23)