As one of the brightest teenage artists today, Khalid went from a mere high school students to a popular singer in a matter of months. The 19-year-old singer knew exactly that his life was about to change with the release of his sultry, bittersweet single "Location" last year.
Less than a year, the song went platinum and has been streamed more than 190 million times on Spotify. To top off his success, Khalid released his debut album "American Teen" earlier this year and recently won Best New Artist Award at the VMAs. Additionally, he has been recruited by A-list stars such as Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris for their hit tracks.
Khalid revealed that focusing on individuality was the key to his newfound success. "When I had moved from New York to El Paso, I was so worried about making new friends, but I wasn't focused on who I was and who I wanted to become, especially during my senior year in high school," he recently shared. "Once I started throwing all of those unnecessary worries out of my head and I started focusing on who I was as a creative, I started writing music--and music changed my life."
His profile was raised thanks to praises from celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner, who tweeted and shared on Snapchats videos of themselves listening to Khalid's music. They are from the same generation, and Khalid is one of few artists who seem to speak for all teenagers through his songs.
"I try to tap into a lot of my friends' emotions," he said. "Some of my friends go through it and they ask for advice, and I can only talk so much. But once I put it into song they can listen to--that's my goal. Creating happiness. Because I've been upset, and I've turned to music to help me out. And it helped me even more when I started writing my own."
Citing Frank Ocean and The Weeknd as his biggest musical influences, Khalid focuses on building lyrical content on his music. "I worked hard on making a body of work that takes people on a journey," he shared. "It was never about making a certain type of song. It was simply about embracing real life situations. Every lyric that I write comes from an honest place. Every song that I record, I make sure I sing it with pain, love, tears, and real emotions."
Young Dumb & Broke
Browse All Video
Khalid was born Khalid Robinson on February 11, 1998 in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Raised in a military family, he spent his childhood in various locations. He lived in Germany and upstate New York before settling in El Paso, Texas during his senior year of high school. Khalid was first inspired to make music by his mother, who was a singer in the U.S. Army Band and loved '90s R&B artists such as Brandy and TLC. » more
- Artist of the Week: Khalid Sep 04, 2017
- Calvin Harris' Future and Khalid-Assisted Song 'Rollin' Is Coming Out This Week May 11, 2017