So recently I have become extremely obsessed with the new up and coming artist, Khalid. To me, it felt like he came out of no where and just blew me away. The first time I was going to listen to some of his music, I have to be honest, I was not expecting much. In todays music we hear a lot of the same sounding rap and pop music, and it was so refreshing to hear a soulful R&B sound. Khalid is only 19 years old which surprised me a lot because of how mature his music sounds. Every song on the album sounds like it was written by a well established artist, and I think thats why I am so amazed by him. He states that most of the songs on the album were written within a couple of days, and even the song “Coaster” was written in a 20 minute car ride to his friends house. His influences include Kendrick, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, James Blake, and Father John Misty. Khalid is signed with Right Hand Music Group and RCA Records.
The first song I heard by him was “American Teen” which is actually the name of his album as well. It starts with sounds of what, to me, sounds like an alarm clock, and then out of no where he just hits you with such an angelic voice. This song, along with a lot of songs on his album, were written before he even graduated high school. “American Teen” represents exactly what he is and who he is in this stage in his life. The main idea he wanted to convey in this song is that “everything is spontaneous”, and he really captures the feeling of being young and not exactly knowing what you’re doing. It is also a change of pace for anyone to be talking about being a proud American with todays political climate. Khalid even states, “I am proud of being an American, even if I am not proud of America right now”.
I tend to be very obsessed with any artist that can accomplish an entire album of good music nowadays. You can listen to every song on this album and find something you like about it. I also think its cool that he has become so famous just off one album. With a lot of artists, it usually takes one or two albums to really get their feet off the ground and make something that everyone wants to listen to.
Also, just being a BECA major, I have to comment on the aesthetics he used for his album artwork. He chose to use blues and pinks as a consistent color theme. The font used for the title reminds me of a 50s, neon, desert vibe which I think relates to his roots and how simple he wanted this album to feel. All of his album artwork is featured in the desert which partly relates to his home El Paso, TX, and also the sense of being alone. He stated in an interview with Music Choice, “being alone is hard, but at the same time its not a bad thing. I feel like creatively, I excel within myself, when I am alone”.
Just recently, Calvin Harris came out with a new song featuring Khalid and Future, called Rollin. Calvin Harris has been releasing a ton of new music right before the start of summer featuring a lot of well established artists, including Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams and more. To have someone so new being featured on one of these songs, says a lot about what other artists think of his character. Here is a short preview of the song that Calvin Harris posted on YouTube below.
I was mostly inspired to rant about Khalid because he released his tour dates TODAY, and both of my homes, San Francisco and San Diego made it on the list. So I will hopefully be seeing Khalid this September in San Francisco! I highly recommend listening to Khalid if you haven’t already, and my top favorite songs are:
1. American Teen
2. Lets Go
Also here is a Soundcloud playlist featuring the album, I’m still playing around with how WordPress embeds music so please enjoy!