Home Music artist Khalid’s “present” review: a break with the norm | Arts

Khalid’s “present” review: a break with the norm | Arts


In a year of new standards, Khalid – propelled to stardom with the 2017 release of his album “American Teen” – takes a step in a new direction with his new single, “Present”. In a slightly more trap-focused sound, Khalid walks away from his intimate, conversational tone while still retaining some of the personal notes his fans have come to expect.

Although more than two years have passed since the release of his full-length 2019 album “Free Spirit,” Khalid has not slowed down production, with a slew of singles and collaborations hitting the charts. With many big names backing singles and one-offs, ranging from Ed Sheeran to Halsey and Martin Garrix, Khalid never limited himself and branched out into pop and house.

Collaborations and “Present” take a slightly different turn for the Georgian from Fort Stewart, while much of his two albums focus on his incredible vocal talent and ability to tell stories. Songs such as “8Teen” and “Location” from the first “American Teen” tell sympathetic stories of young people grieving, growing up and navigating the maze of adulthood. These everyday stories coupled with vocal maturity beyond her age create the stage where the artist could flourish and grow – reaching the top of the Billboard charts time and time again.

“Present” sounds like a distinct departure from its tried and true consistency. While retaining some of the trap style elements of his hit “Young, Dumb, and Broke”, “Present” loses vocal acuity and intensity. Sometimes the vocals are muffled under the sounds of the bass and snare. “Present” is more like a party song, with a loose sense of continuity and an emphasis on a strong beat. Rather than having the voice at the center of the song, the whole takes over. The song even takes a more repetitive approach to the lyrics with a lot of weight on the chorus.

With such a distinct style, it’s understandable that Khalid wants to try and break the mold he’s built for himself. Khalid’s many songs sound similar and can sometimes blend into each other. While ideal for listening to a full album, those blurry lines between individual tracks can limit artist notoriety and traction.

Perhaps as a branching point, “Present” can be the track Khalid uses to move away from the coherence of his previous music. In the previous years of constant change and fluidity, creating a new brand could be an exciting step for the young artist. If Khalid’s new album “Everything Is Changing” picks up on the vibe shown by “Present” and his previous single “New Normal”, it could be a rich and diverse step. “New Normal” follows more of the artist’s traditional stylistic choices with more subdued save beats, so the album could be a mix of Khalid’s new style mixed in with the elements fans have come to know and love. to like.

“Present” will be on Khalid’s new mixtape “Scenic Drive”, but its incorporation alongside “New Normal” on his upcoming full album is up for debate. “Scenic Drive” debuts on December 3 and is the companion to the 2018 EP “Suncity”. “Everything is Changing” is slated for release this fall. Both promise to be intriguing steps for the artist.

– Editor-in-Chief Mikel J. Davies can be contacted at [email protected]