The man who never stops moving. First known as the founder and frontman of Soul Track Mind, Donovan Keith embodies the ideals of both stunning vocal ability and infectiously frenetic showmanship. The mystery has yet to be solved: How can a mild-mannered ginger sing AND dance like that?
A native Midwesterner, Donovan chose Austin, Texas, to cultivate his music dreams and moved across the country with no job, friends, or family to receive him and no experience in leading the band he was about to form. Soul Track Mind grew into an outlet for Donovan’s love of soul and R&B music and gave him the perfect vehicle for his first years of development as a songwriter and performer.
From 2008 to 2016, STM was eagerly embraced by the Austin music scene and expanded like a blast wave throughout Texas and the South, out to both coasts, and all the way back to the northerly states of his youth. Donovan’s one-of-a-kind, dance-infused stage show became beloved by fans and acknowledged by reviewers across the country, earning kudos from the likes of Performer Magazine which declared, “Aside from showcasing an impressive vocal range and blues-soaked sound, Keith can engage an audience with his unbridled enthusiasm and dance moves.”
Successes for Donovan with STM included winning the Music Prize in 2014; performing by special invitation at the 2015 Texas Governor’s Inaugural Ball; sharing bills with Enrique Iglesias, David Crosby, Erykah Badu, and other top talents; and five years closing out the Viva Big Bend Festival in Alpine, Texas.
A shift was underway with STM’s third album, Unbreakable (2014), on which Donovan began to assert his creative presence with more complex lyrics and themes closer to his heart and experiences. The album served as Donovan’s catharsis from a dark night of the soul and also as the impetus to launch the next era of his career.
Now this red-haired, soul-singing dynamo has a brand-new project all his own. Combining the voice and moves that fans have grown to crave with fresh new songs and piano skills you never knew he had, Donovan Keith is inviting you along for his next (r)evolution. In 2017 he released an EP, Carry Me On, which gave fans their first taste of Donovan’s latest songwriting direction, and those who knew him from STM embraced his new project in familiar venues and markets around the country, including his highly anticipated annual tours to Florida and West Texas.
2018 brought Donovan a massive infusion of attention, launched with an incendiary performance on the Mohawk stage in January for Black Fret, a music patronage organization whose members seek out the best Austin-based talent and support those artists with a wildly enthusiastic fan community, professional mentoring, and financial support to elevate them to the next level. In December, Black Fret members recognized Donovan with a $20,000 grant, opening more options and opportunity for a 2019 that is sure to be astonishing.