In 2016, Khalid burst onto our radar with a slew of well-manicured R&B offerings, including his hit single “Location.” If the RCA Records-signed crooner's newly-released single is any indication, however, 2017 will officially be his breakout year.
Released today (February 22), the Hiko Momoji-produced “American Teen” will serve as the lead single and title track of Khalid’s debut album of the same name, due out March 3.
While "American Teen" is as good as we've come to expect from Khalid, beyond that it has the potential to dominate radio waves all summer long. It has all the makings of a hit—Khalid’s infectious, smoky warble forms a carefree ode to youth and warm weather, wrapped in a sunny, '80s-tinged soundscape.
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It’s also vaguely patriotic in that earnest, Bruce Springsteen sort of way that label execs inevitably try to recreate every summer, but never can. And although Khalid is signed to RCA, this single feels untouched by the grimy fingerprints of a calculated cash grab. This is the genuine product of a poetic rendering of youthful summers spent in El Paso, Texas, an inspiration Khalid doesn’t take lightly.
"The fact that a city that didn't raise me accepted me, and changed my life forever... that's something that'll stick with me wherever I go in life," Khalid explained via text.
In addition to having a hit single on deck, Khalid has been primed for stardom thanks to “Location,” which jumped from No. 52 to No. 44 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100, and has racked up 43 million streams on Spotify alone. Considering “American Teen” sounds even bigger and has an impending release hot on its heels, a legitimate summertime smash is inevitable.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube