Raised by a single mother in the military, Khalid moved around a few times growing up. The effects of that ever-changing lifestyle – loss, pain, and rediscovery – shine through his debut album, American Teen. The title is a dead giveaway of the album’s theme: navigating the loneliness and confusion of adolescence to eventually arrive at contentment. Khalid finds comfort in the chaos of cliques, growing pains and, most notably, inscrutable love.
With no features, the 18 year-old up-and-comer commandeers the audience with beautifully simple yet original lyrics, delivered with an emotive voice that appears to belong to an old and experienced soul rather than a nascent star. Khalid’s mother was an aspiring singer herself who gave up her dream to raise Khalid as they moved from Germany to New York and most recently El Paso for Khalid’s senior year of high school. It’s safe to say he’s embracing these days to live out his own dream and endearingly so, his mother’s too. The experimental neo-r&b/soul record is a testament to the hardships of growing up yearning for love regardless of circumstance. Check out the album below: