khalid reasserts his “self” on new single

March 28, 2019

From the very beginning of his short but rapidly climbing career, Khalid Robinson’s secret weapon as a singer and songwriter has been how he ties together his honesty and open-ness with a way of looking at the world immediately around him — and then makes sense of it. Whether it was actually fiction or not, what made “Young Dumb & Broke” stand out was that it felt like a diary entry. Or not far from one. Relatable, that’s Khalid.

That tendency continues on “Self,” the newest track to drop from Khalid’s upcoming album, Free Spirit. Over a forceful, mid-tempo beat, Khalid engages with the contrary feelings inside of him — and, most specifically, a desire to practice a kind of radical self-health. “I’ve been making changes / Been working on my health / No more competition / Can’t compete against myself” is not the kind of lyric you’d expect from a 21 year-old. But its one that sounds like a knowing force field for someone who’s gone from being an army brat to one of the hottest, most respected soul singers in the world in just a couple of years. Unless you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of young fame, this one’s a little less relatable, yet it doesn’t feel any less honest.

Khalid’s Free Spirit is expected to drop in April on RCA.