27 March 2023
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He is a 24-year-old British rapper who is not only on a musical journey but on a life-defining voyage of self-discovery.
His latest record called “Exhibit Green,” which charts his path of self-growth and rediscovery thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery who have raised more than £12million to support the work of Youth Music, including the NextGen Fund.
Keanan’s message, approach and the way he constantly challenges stereotypes in the music industry makes him an icon. He is openly gay and uses his platform to express the struggles he has faced, and still faces, within his chosen calling. He was not discouraged when he first experienced negative reactions to his music; to him, this only highlighted importance of his message.
Keanan, who began his meteoric rise in the unlikely backdrop of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, says: "LGBTQ+ is a big thing for me, especially as a gay rapper in the UK. It’s new ground. It is important to have a LGBTQ+ role model in the rap scene and I’m happy to be that person.”
His ambition as a rapper with Afro British influences was hailed in Gay Times, a magazine that recognises individuals and organisations who have a profound impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
“2022 was a year full of surprises. But my biggest achievement was collaborating with Youth Music to create “Exhibit Green,” because it has opened doors in my career.
“The project has become so important and I am thankful I was given the opportunity. This gave me my first-ever BBC Radio 1Xtra debut and allowed me to perform at UK Black Pride and the Youth Music Awards. To be recognised as a “rising star” by Gay Times and as a “spotlight” artist by BBC is a dream come true.
“I feel like I have found myself and now I’m ready to present myself to a bigger audience and take things to the next level. Expect the unexpected.”
Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, says:
“The Youth Music NextGen Fund continues to drive an important shift towards a more equal, inclusive and innovative music industry. The 137 young creatives we’ve invested in so far are a testament to what can be achieved with a little financial support. Keanan is just one of these inspiring success stories and he is supported thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.”
Player support is helping young creatives receive vital funds that enable them to take their talents to new heights, making their dreams come true. Awarded by Postcode Culture Trust, these funds are essential and help Youth Music support the future of the music industry.
This includes singers, rappers, songwriters, producers, DJs, managers, and agents, right through to some roles that have still yet to be defined.