The other day, when watching YesJulz’s snapchat story, I was introduced to an artist she was playing called Khalid. Going by The Great Khalid on SoundCloud, he has garnered a good sized following at only 18. While Khalid only has a handful of tracks posted up, all on SoundCloud, his music has been making waves since he released his first song a year ago.
His most popular track is Location, has over 4 million listens. Khalid considers modern love saying,”I don’t wanna fall in love off a subtweet,”. Making his music relatable to many millennials, Khalid speaks to the ways social media plays into relationships, while still discussing how fulfilling pure connection is. The title of the track even alludes to modern love in a slightly sarcastic way, with the main lyric, “send to me your location,” reminding listeners of the iPhone ‘share my location’ feature.
Hopeless, which came out just 21 days ago, feels very 80’s. With a background beat that feels like it belongs in a different time period, Khalid layers in a hip-hop base and love-sick lyrics. It’s sappy in it’s contents, but is elevated given his use of production, classifying it as an R&B track.
Reasons is another uninhibited track, and his honesty in the lyrics is refreshing, “if your love is a drug, I’m an addict,”. In that way it reminds the listener of classic 2000’s R&B, which often surrounded deep love and everything that comes with it. Khalid’s shit is reminiscent of O.G. R&B, but using production and hip-hop samples, is brought into 2016.
Mixing sounds from today and other eras, Khalid’s music responds to the complications of young love in the 21st century.