During the dawn of November, I championed El Paso, Texas native Khalid as one of a select few young artists to blow me away in 2016. A voice that captivates, songwriting that magnetizes, it’s almost impossible not to be drawn into the promising 18-year old’s music.
With a recently announced record deal with RCA and a single that’s just beginning to truly blossom, the budding star is shining brighter each passing day. I figured he would lay low for the last few weeks of the year, waiting until the start of 2017 to liberate new music, but my intuition was wrong. Not only did Khalid return before our new calendars changed over, he returned with a song that left us saying…. holy shit you need to hear this.
A “Holy Shit” series feature is one of the highest honors you can receive from the DJBooth staff, a true testament that a song has left our jaws ajar. This time around, Khalid, with the assistance of production duo Brasstracks, left us with mouths hanging low enough to kiss the ground. “Whirlwind” is a near-perfect musical union and a song that’s a part of Yours Truly and Adidas' ongoing Songs From Scratch —an original music series that brings together great talent to collaborate on art.
“Whirlwind” finds Khalid showcasing his vocal strength, singing with a passion that’s needed when live instrumentation is blaring with overwhelming power. Since Khalid’s production selections have always been mellow and less overbearing, teaming up with Brasstracks puts him in a different environment, allowing the promising singer to prove that he has a voice that can handle bolder, more ambitious sounds.
Brasstracks, meanwhile, is a Brooklyn, New York duo who began making big noise in the music industry earlier this year. The pair is most famous for handling the production on Chance The Rapper’s “No Problem,” one of 2016’s biggest records. Production wise, “Whirlwind” sounds like a song that could easily fit on Nico Segal and The Social Experiment’s Surf. The instrumentation is lush—beautiful horns, graceful drums, and gorgeous keys, the music dances around Khalid’s vocals with zeal and spirit.
The song is a full-on jam, from beginning to end. It begins with a slow build up, then a vigorous explosion, and a subtle calmness that leaves you unsure what will happen next. All while Khalid’s broken heart is sprinkled upon the sundae of beautiful sounds.
“Whirlwind” is just one more example why Khalid and Brasstracks should be on your radar. Both acts are on the rise while still relatively underground, but with talent too big to stay hidden for long.
By Yoh, aka YohlySh*t , aka @Yoh31.
Photo Credit: adidasoriginals