Not much was previously known of Khalid.
The 19-year-old rose to superstardom after his song Location hit Billboard’s Hot 100 list earlier in March. Shortly after, El Pasoans began asking… who is he?
“When my mom told me we were moving to El Paso, it was kind of scary,” he said in a newly released Youtube video. “I’ve learned to love this city as if it were my own, that it doesn’t matter that I’ve only lived there for two years.”
And El Paso has learned to love Khalid.
The Americas High School graduate was barely known in the city prior to the new year, although his Instagram account had been promoting the artist (and the city) since February of 2016. It wasn’t until March 3, the day American Teen was released, or as Khalid describes, “the day my life will change forever.” The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200, his song Location at number 38 on the Hot 100, outranking artists such as Drake and The Weeknd. Today, the song has jumped six more spots and continues to gain momentum.
The album, loaded with fifteen songs, all of which he sang on his own, reintroduced a soulful tone that many of us haven’t heard since the 80’s and 90’s. His song Shot Down talks about relationships and the consequences that come with it. It’s a perfect example of why so many of his fans are within his own age group. In Coaster, his message turns a little more positive, although the vocals will still break your heart. Khalid is singlehandedly resurrecting soul music, in his own way.
Two weeks after it’s incredibly successful release, Khalid was invited to perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallen. Ten days later, Spotify hosted a surprise “homecoming” performance at Americas High School, which shut down half of El Paso after word spread on social media. His next gig? The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 4.
With all of his success, the 19-year-old has remained grounded. He still calls El Paso home and El Paso is proud to call him one of our own. Welcome home, Khalid.