R&B and Pop Flavor – Khalid, Is Our Artiste Of The Week


We talk wave of impression in music! A R&B and pop artist who sings in both the baritone and tenor ranges, effectively rendering him a baritenor . We talking once upon a time “American teen” (who’s got a song with the same phrase). Of course he’s no more a teenager! Just over a week (15th March 2019) ago,  Khalid was in the news for topping the Billboard 200, and Billboard Staffers discussing how happy should Khalid be given the fact that his sophomore album (Free Spirit) moving over 200k as well as his success over the years. This is someone who was still only lightly familiar to pop audiences even this time two years ago.


Absolutely!  Khalid’s sophomore album dropped 1st week of this Month and already garnered 202k. This is a significant number for Khalid. I remember when he dropped his debut album American Teen in 2017, it climbed up within one week as well. We should give Khalid credit for generating enough interest to score impressively after two never really disappearing years of collaborations and single releases. That’s some serious elevation for the youngster.


And with so much of that sum we will soon dive into a musical break but before then, we should know when and where exactly @thegreatkhalid was born.


Khalid Robinson  (pronounced Kuh-leed, not kah-leed) was born on February 11, 1998 (currently 21) in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Due to his mother’s career in the military which required frequent movement, Khalid spent his childhood in various locations including Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Drum in Watertown, New York, and six years in Heidelberg, Germany. In high school, Khalid studied singing and musical theater. During his junior year of high school, the family moved to El Paso, Texas where Khalid claims he was “born creatively”.


That’s so true! While at Americas Khalid began writing and creating music in high school; he posted his early works to SoundCloud. They quickly reached A&R executive Tunji Balogun, who facilitated Khalid’s attained a major-label contract within months of uploading his first songs. Khalid literally made his commercial debut  and attracted a large following just at the time he was just out of high school in 2016. In July 2016, Khalid reached number two on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart. He got featured in many publications, including Billboard, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and Rolling Stone. Khalid went from an unknown everyday teenager to a chart-topping, platinum-certified pop. His debut album ‘American Teen’ was released on March 3, 2017. It climbed to no.9 on the US charts.


That song was released in February after “Location” was remarkably still gaining ground, before American Teen was later released in March. That song  still rocks airwaves until early 2018. Nominated at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards in the category Top R&B Song. Speaking of Khalid’s debut American Teen which he dropped at the end of tour 1st week in March 2017, On October 24, 2017, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 1,000,000 in combined pure sales and album-equivalent unit. It was nominated at the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song (for “Location”).


In October 2018, Khalid released an EP, Suncity, on October 19, 2018 through RCA Records. The EP debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200. In February 2019, Khalid released the single “Talk”, and he made his debut on Saturday Night Live on March 9, 2019, performing “Talk” and “Better”. Free Spirit is Khalid’s second studio album just released on 5th April, 2019, through RCA Records along with an accompanying short film directed by Emil Nava to accompany the album, which was released on April 3.


“According to Andrew Unterberger of Billboard.com “the sameiness has been overstated: The album does maybe have four or five sonic sweet spots that it kinda cycles between, but even across a 17-track set, that’s still pretty diverse for 2019.”Khalid is going to have to make a jump as a songwriter at some point — he’s still a little better at writing hooks than really telling stories at this point,”. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard.com also wrote about the album suffering from a lack of musical chances taken upon its release saying the same formula applied to all 17 tracks on his sophomore album. But the album is far from boring, but if Khalid is going to take more risks on future projects, those risks have to start with the songs themselves.,


Khalid has been compared to some amazing artists; some say Khalid has got some Frank Ocean kind-of vibes in his music, but the New York Times has also compared his style to The Weeknd’s early mixtape and the UK’s own Sampha.


When he started putting his music out someone on Soundcloud said they “hated” it. He says this keeps him motivated to work and prove people wrong. According to him, his biggest influence is his mother. His mother was a singer, but rejected a chance for a music career so she could have a stable job in the army and provide for Khalid as a single mother. His mother performed with the U.S. Army Chorus But professionally, Frank Ocean and Chance have inspired him and he’s also into pop act like Lorde.


Khalid’s commercial debut “Location” was made in August 2016, three months after he received his high school diploma.


He’s performed uncredited vocals for Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Heart Part 4’ and appeared on Calvin Harris’s ‘Rollin’ with Future. He and Alessia Cara contributed to Logic’s April 2017 single “1-800-237-8255,” (the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) which was nominated for Grammy awards in the categories of Song of the Year and Best Music Video.

And his first name means ‘eternal’.

ALBUMS: American Teen (2017) and Free Spirit (2019)


– 2017, Khalid won a VMA Award for Best New Artist
– 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards American Teen Won R&B Album of the Year among other big awards and nominations for his music and for himself as an artist

Khalid wrote ‘Location’ to try and impress a girl. Sadly it didn’t work out and they don’t even talk anymore!

“Location” was released on August 23, 2016. The song peaked at 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for “Location” was released on September 26, 2016. With production from Syk Sense, Tunji Ige, and Smash David, “Location” finished the year 2016 at number 20 on the US Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart and reached the Top 10 on the US Hot R&B Songs chart on January 21, 2017

Location” was up for Best R&B Song, American Teen was nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and Khalid himself was among the nominees for Best New Artist. (Grammy nominated Best R&B Song)

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