We at THP love how Khalid always brings something new to the table without straying too far from his signature sound! If his new track ‘Present’ is any indication, his upcoming Scenic Drive EP will be no exception. Through all his projects so far, Khalid has maintained his unique vision and pushed himself to grow as both an artist and a person.
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The world started paying attention to Khalid when he dropped his breakout hit ‘Location’ in April 2016, shortly before he graduated from high school. ‘Location’ draws from a classic R&B sound with a modern twist, asking someone to “send [him their] location” so they can link up and talk. As a teen himself, Khalid knew exactly how to appeal to teen music fans: in addition to the high-tech hook, the chorus interpolates the melody of the Jonas Brothers’ hit ‘Lovebug,’ which his peers grew up listening to.
His attention to what his peers liked worked in his favor – not only did ‘Location’ get love from Kylie Jenner and land on Billboard’s Top R&B Songs chart, but he won the coveted title of Prom King during his senior year in El Paso, Texas. He nodded to that moment with a “Prom King” slide in the music video for his next big hit, ‘Young Dumb & Broke.’
Before anyone could say ‘Young Dumb & Broke’ three times in a row, Khalid had taken off as a teenage R&B superstar! Some of his earliest singles got remixes by the most high-profile artists in the game: Kehlani and Lil Wayne reimagined ‘Location’ while Rae Sremmurd and Lil Yachty hopped on a remix of ‘Young Dumb & Broke.’ He also got to remix Lorde‘s ‘Homemade Dynamite’ alongside Post Malone and SZA. Not too shabby!
It wasn’t long before Khalid landed his own prominent collaborations – if you’ve heard any of his music, you’re probably already familiar with ‘lovely’ with Billie Eilish, ‘1-800-273-8255’ with Logic and Alessia Cara, ‘Love Lies’ with Normani, or ‘Eastside’ with benny blanco and Halsey. At this point, Khalid hadn’t just impressed his high school peers, but also his industry peers who wanted to get on the train!
Shortly after his 21st birthday, Khalid dropped his sophomore album Free Spirit, which boasts the Disclosure-assisted hit single ‘Talk’ and the bouncy ‘Out of My Head’ with John Mayer. The record looked to the future with Khalid’s new maturity while still feeling youthful and nostalgic, drawing from his own musical influences. ‘Right Back’ alone talks about young adult love with a Lil Wayne sample while interpolating Brandy and Monica’s iconic 1998 duet ‘The Boy Is Mine.’
It’s no surprise that, like many of us, Khalid took COVID-19 lockdowns as an opportunity to reflect on himself and what truly matters to him. It’s also no surprise that he turned to music during that time! He describes the importance of living in the moment on his upbeat new single ‘Present,’ and it’s really such a vibe.
I’ve had the chance to listen to a lot of music and also push myself creatively while I’m recording. My mom raised me on R&B and whether it’s the harmonies or melodies, it will always be a part of my music. ‘Present’ is just the beginning and I love that it has a dual meaning. It feels good to be more ‘present’ after such a trying year in the pandemic and it’s also a ‘present’ for my fans that have been with me every step of the way.
‘Present’ is the first taste Khalid has given fans of his upcoming EP Scenic Drive, and we’re beyond excited to hear what surprises he has in store for us! Based on ‘Present,’ it seems like the project will have some of his most introspective work yet with standout collaborations. Maybe it’ll feature his recent track ‘working’ with Tate McRae?
We’re beyond excited to hear Scenic Drive, so we’ll have ‘Present’ on repeat until it comes out! What do you think of Khalid’s new track and growth as an artist? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TheHoneyPOP! Check out more new releases by your favorite artists here.
Featured Image Source: Ro.Lexx