2017 is panning out to be an incredible year for young, new artists. The incredibly talented Khalid Robinson, better known by his stage name Khalid, has already made this year his. At just 19 years old, the artist has been all over the Billboard charts, streamed millions of times; and he is just getting started.
Khalid’s sound is blissfully happy. In addition to his soothing voice, his cheerful outlook and persona reminds me of Kyle. His energy both on and off stage is infectious. Much of the appeal toward the young artist, aside from his incredible work in the studio, is Khalid’s relatability. Because he is only 19, young listeners and artists can see themselves in Khalid. His intense spark in popularity from a typical high schooler in El Paso to an award winning artist has already inspired other young people to pursue their goals just as he did.
Only a year and a half ago, Khalid was his high school prom king. Just one year later, he is part of the inner circles of artists like Elton John, Solange Knowles, 2 Chainz, Post Malone, Kehlani, and a plethora of other established singers, rappers, and DJs.
The May following his senior prom, Kylie Jenner played Khalid’s track “Location” on her Snapchat, followed by more than 10 million people. (Kylie remains the most followed user in Snapchat history) So basically, a ton of people learned “Location’s” chorus thanks to Jenner sis.
He quickly reached No. 2 on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart last summer. His success began to spread around publications including Billboard, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and Rolling Stone, pointing the public to Khalid as an artist to watch.
Khalid’s first studio album with RCA Records, American Teen, was released on March 3, 2017. The already well-known “Location” acted as the albums leading single, with a music video to match. Khalid wrote each of the fifteen tracks that made finished product, proving not only his impressive vocals but his remarkable songwriting ability as well. Each song on the album follows the simple trend of so many of my favorite artists: individually unique tracks that fit perfectly beside one another to tell Khalid’s story of both teenage struggle and triumph. (while sounding 241 times better than traditional “teen pop”, in my humble opinion)
For me, American Teen has been on repeat since its release, and I am yet to grow tired of the masterful album. Khalid’s future is extremely bright and I cannot wait for his upcoming projects, tour, and my “American Teen” shirt to come in the mail.