Let’s ‘Talk’ about Khalid’s new album

The R&B artist is no longer ‘Young, Dumb and Broke’

By on April 23, 2019

My first reaction to the album was instant tears. Listening to a voice that is so calm and peaceful amongst all the chaos that is your life. Khalid is very open with his audience and now his transition from his freshman album “American Teen” including all of his EPs like “Suncity”. “Free Spirit” shows maturity and what he went through in his life on his journey to write all the beautiful songs in this album. He explains that the music he is writing now is self-reflective.

“I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself and how I like to write that it’s allowed the music to improve” Khalid said to Billboard.

Grace Pickering/RCA Records
Each song is different and personal to Khalid in different ways. “My Bad” and “Bad Luck” were each written in 10 minutes comprised of freestyling. However, “Free Spirit” took a couple months to develop. This shows how much each song means to him and how each song is a step closer on his journey to being a “Free Spirit.”

For an artist to share his struggles in life gives fans hope that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. The emotion he puts in his songs is relatable. Everyone has felt them at one point or another in their life.

“With ‘American Teen’, the theme was just growing up, a coming of age, high school graduation celebration,” according to Billboard.

The first song I ever listened of Khalid’s was “Therapy.” Before that, I had seen him in some Youtube videos. He has something so special about him and I instantly fell in love with his voice. I was a junior in high school going through the same emotions he went through while writing this album. When “American Teen” was released, each song held such a significant part of my life from junior year until I graduated high school. He wrote “American Teen” about high school and made it a coming of age story. Through his songs each person can relate to it in some way.

Khalid describes his sophomore album “Free Spirit” in a Billboard interview saying, “to be a free spirit means you have no restrictions, nothing holding you back.” The whole purpose of his album is to make the listener feel something and help us on our own journey to being a free spirit.

“You find freedom through conversation, through interactions with your friends, through experiences, going on vacation. To be a free spirit, it has to be something that you don’t turn off. It has to be automatic. You have to feel it all the time. I know that I don’t feel that all the time,” Khalid told Billboard.

Khalid starts the album off with his song “Intro.” This song holds so much emotion and you can tell the amount of effort that went into producing and writing this song. An album review from “The Post” claims that Khalid is “playing it too safe” and “doesn’t show is usual personality.” In my opinion I disagree with this. In his first album “American Teen,” his main purpose was to put himself out there and relate with so many teens that are going through what he went through.

“Free Spirit” showed the true Khalid. It showed raw emotion and the troubles he’s facing in his personal life as well as dealing with his fame at such a young age.

His song “Hundred” depicts the emotion of a busy life with people constantly needing you. “Twenty one” was in a way a sequel to “8TEEN” from his “American Teen” album. This showed how much he grew up but made the song about himself to allows us to get an insight into his life. The songs “Heaven” and “Alive” are some of the most beautiful songs on the album where he expresses deep emotions and has a conversation with death conveyed in the lyrics “I shouldn’t have to die to feel alive.”

Khalid was inspired by his own album and came up with a short film with Emil Nava that goes by the same name. The short film follows a story of a friend group in a town they grew up in. Each character has their own problems and secret life whether it be family or money struggles.

The group feels trapped and want to break free. Khalid and his friends set out to go on a road trip to the city. Throughout the road trip, friends come and go and fear of the future sets in. Each song from the album is played at different times of the movie to set a specific mood. This movie had a special meaning to Khalid because all of his friends play a character. This movie was in theaters for one day to show to fans who are dedicated to his music and art. It was beautifully constructed to make you feel exactly how the characters felt.

Each album served a purpose in significant points of his life. “Free Spirit” not only revealed Khalid’s truest form but paved the path to so many more great albums in the future. Each of the song lyrics flows into the next and the music is beautifully produced making Khalid in my opinion, the King of R&B of our generation.

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About Rhea Ghosh