Soundbite: “American Teen” by Khalid

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Photo credit: J. Kopec “American Teen” speaks to what it means to be a young person in today’s society and artist Khalid recently won “Best New Artist” at the VMAs.

Released in March, “American Teen” is American singer Khalid’s debut studio album. Since its debut, Khalid was voted “Best New Artist” at the Video Music Awards and became one of the most streamed artists worldwide on Spotify in September for five consecutive days.

In the album, Khalid sings straightforwardly about teenagers’ aspirations and love in a

time of texting and tweeting. This is apparent in songs such as “Location” where he says, “I don’t wanna fall in love off of subtweets,” and in “8teen” where he sings about how at his age he still lives with his parents. His subject matter is relatable to teens, like in the song “Young, Dumb & Broke,” in which he explains to a lover how this is a time to not commit, but rather a time to stay young and have fun since they are still in high school, and are likely to make dumb decisions and are, of course, broke.

Khalid discusses millennial love and the way they interact with technology. For other generations, it might be hard to understand why this album is so relatable. However, one of the reasons for this album’s success is his accuracy when representing this generation’s day-to-day and love lives.

Khalid’s singing stays on a slow and calm note. In songs such as “8teen” and ‘Let’s Go”

he picks up the pace, but maintains the calm and grace in his voice.

After receiving his first VMA award, Khalid said, “This is the start of something great,” and it is indeed for the young teenager from El Paso, Texas. As he gets more and more recognition, his followers keep increasing and the album keeps getting more streams. Khalid’s music is different and contemporary, and definitely shows a bright future ahead for this young talent.

No matter what your musical preference, it is almost impossible not to listen to this album every day once you’ve heard it because the rhythms and vocals are for almost every person’s taste. The album is full of relatable stories and feels like a voice of representation for our generation, especially when it describes love. Finally, it gives a calm vibe wherever it is played; if you’re someone who enjoys a calm environment while writing, reading, showering or any other activity where you can play music for your own comfort, this album is for you. I agree with the praise and recognition that Khalid is receiving worldwide. This is truly an outstanding album.

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