Get to know Khalid before his concert in Singapore

Get to know Khalid before his concert in Singapore


Text: Megan Koh

Five-time Grammy nominated R&B artist Khalid will be coming to Singapore this November. Before you catch the breakout star in his American Teen Tour concert on 6 November, here are some things to know

1. Music runs in his family
Khalid grew up in a household filled with music. Although his mother was a singer, she pursued a career in the army where she performed with the US Army band and chorus. "Growing up, I was always singing with my mom," the 20-year-old Texan singer-songwriter said. "She's my role model so as far back as I can remember I would try to mimic her, even though I was never as good as her."

2. He wanted to teach English or music
Although Khalid joined his high school's choir and enrolled in voice lessons, he was actually equally interested in poetry. "I had originally planned to do musical theatre and be on Broadway but then my love for poetry also set in," he said in an interview. "Once that happened, I became torn between a career as an English teacher or a music teacher," he added.

3. He started writing songs to cope with moving
With Khalid's mother working in the military, the family had to move frequently. Khalid was devastated when they had to move to El Paso before his senior year of high school. "That sense of devastation knocked me into writing songs to get out all of my feelings," he said. "I had to break-up with my girlfriend of four years when I moved and suddenly all of the friends I had made in New York weren't there anymore. As a response I wrote 'Saved' which is a story of resentment and loneliness," he added.

4. 'Location' was released earlier because he wanted to be Prom King
Khalid's debut single 'Location' was not a strategic release, but an early push-out because he wanted to be crowned Prom King. "My management team wanted to be very strategic with its release and they had originally wanted to wait on it a bit longer before putting it out," he said. "But it was prom season and I felt like everyone in school was thinking I'd fallen off or something and I wanted to win Prom King. So I was like, 'we need to release this right now!' So they released it just for my sake and I did end up winning Prom King!"

5. Kylie Jenner played 'Location' in her snap on Khalid's graduation day
Khalid was just about to walk across the stage to accept his high school diploma when he checked Snapchat and realised Kylie Jenner had played his song, 'Location' in one of her snaps. Jenner is reputed as the most-viewed person on Snapchat ever and that surprise exposure was possibly Khalid's best graduation gift.


Listen to Khalid's debut album, American Teen, here.
Khalid performs live in Singapore on 6 November at ZEPP@BIGBOX. Tickets here.
For last week's #ManCrushMonday, click here.

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