Thursday, March 30, 2017

Khalid | Becoming Khalid (Vevo LIFT)

An artist’s music often reflects its surroundings, and the tracks on Khalid’s ‘American Teen’ album were inspired by the friendship that the 18-year-old singer-songwriter discovered when he moved to El Paso, Texas a couple of years ago. Khalid has been interested in music since 8th grade, but in our exclusive LIFT profile, he says he became much more serious about writing and producing his own songs after hitting town with his mom, and falling in with a new set of pals - ones he truly could share his feelings with. “We appreciate each other,” he says of his high school friends, “and I feel it was super necessary for me to tell their stories. We all go through the same stuff, and we’re all growing up together as individuals.”

Cruising, boarding, hanging out – in ‘Becoming Khalid’ we get to meet the singer’s besties, Jerry and Joslin, and they help fill us in on his personality. We were with him on the day ‘American Teen’ dropped – a game-changer for any young artist. “It’s like a whole different shift of the way my life is going to turn out,” he says. “In the span of a couple of hours, my album was number one on the Apple Music charts. Which is crazy.”

The music is instantly enticing, super modern R&B with classic touches, and Khalid’s production has way of establishing a deep mood on each track, especially “Location” “Young, Dumb & Broke,” and “Coaster.” ‘Becoming Khalid’ also follows the singer to a New York studio and looks at the unique way he approaches his writing process, starting with melodies and trying to articulate emotions. He usually sorts out both with a collaborator. “You have to have a sense of trust, because you’re singing about your own heartache…and they’re making a soundtrack to your story.”

Khalid’s personality is front and center in his music, that’s one of the reasons it’s having such an impact. “I feel the reason that teenagers are connecting to my words is because I’m a teenager,” he concludes. “I talk to lots of the fans and they say ‘Know what? I’ve never had someone who I’ve admired that is my age.” Khalid knows that he’s entering a new chapter of life, and the future is all about growth. “We’re all learning together. You’re chasing your dreams, and I want to chase my own.”

Khalid | Becoming Khalid (Vevo LIFT)