Khalid: American Teen


Lauren Winn

Khalid​ ​is​ ​a​ ​19​ ​year​ ​old​ ​singer-songwriter​ ​from​ ​Georgia. ​ ​His​ ​first​ ​and​ ​most​ ​recent​ ​album, American​ ​Teen​ ​was​ ​released​ ​in​ ​March​ ​2017. ​ ​The​ ​album​ ​features​ ​slower contemporary/alternative​ ​R&B​ ​songs​ ​that​ ​are​ ​relatable​ ​to​ ​teenagers​ ​and​ ​young​ ​adults.​ ​The singer-songwriter​ ​sings​ ​about​ ​his​ ​own​ ​personal​ ​experiences​ ​about​ ​being​ ​young​ ​and​ ​carefree​ ​in high​ ​school. His songs, “Saved,” “8TEEN,” and “Young Dumb & Broke” are definitely my favorites off the album.

“Saved”​ ​is​ ​a​ ​song​ ​about​ ​love​ ​and​ ​ending​ ​relationships.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​mellow​, ​but​ ​also​ ​has​ ​a​ ​good​ ​rhythm and​ ​beat.​ ​“Saved”​ ​is​ ​a​ ​song​ ​that​ ​many​ ​people​ ​can​ ​relate​ ​to,​ ​especially​ ​if​ ​you’ve​ ​ever​ ​had​ ​to​ ​end​ ​a relationship,​ ​but​ ​miss​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person.​ ​This​ ​song​ ​is​ ​almost​ ​like​ ​a​ ​story,​ ​because​ ​as​ ​the​ ​song goes​ ​on,​ ​it’s​ ​almost​ ​as​ ​if​ ​it’s​ ​telling​ ​the​ ​stages​ ​of​ ​a​ ​break-up.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​verse​ ​features​ ​the​ ​lyric “The​ ​hard​ ​part​ ​always​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​last​ ​forever…​ ​Sometimes​ ​I​ ​forget​ ​that​ ​we​ ​aren’t​ ​together.”​ ​This lyric​ ​is​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​a​ ​break-up.​ ​The​ ​second​ ​verse​ ​has​ ​the​ ​lyric​ ​“I​ ​erased​ ​all​ ​the​ ​pictures from​ ​my​ ​phone​ ​of​ ​me​ ​and​ ​you.”​ ​This​ ​part​ ​is​ ​when​ ​you​ ​get​ ​the​ ​courage​ ​to​ ​delete​ ​pictures​ ​and memories​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person​ ​in​ ​the​ ​relationship.​ ​Although​ ​the​ ​chorus​ ​of​ ​this​ ​song​ ​is​ ​about keeping​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person’s​ ​phone​ ​number,​ ​hoping​ ​they’ll​ ​call​ ​you​ ​or​ ​you’ll​ ​get​ ​the​ ​confidence​ ​to call​ ​them,​ ​because​ ​you​ ​still​ ​have​ ​feelings​ ​or​ ​miss​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​lyric​ ​that​ ​made​ ​me​ ​stop​ ​and​ ​think​ ​is at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​when​ ​Khalid​ ​sings​ ​“I’ll​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​number​ ​saved​ ​‘cause​ ​I​ ​hope​ ​one​ ​day​ ​I’ll​ ​get​ ​the pride​ ​to​ ​call​ ​you​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​you​ ​that​ ​I’m​ ​finally​ ​over​ ​you.”​ ​This​ ​lyric​ ​ends​ ​the​ ​song​ ​with​ ​the​ ​feeling​ ​of closure,​ ​knowing​ ​that​ ​you’ve​ ​finally​ ​let​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person​ ​go.​ ​Overall,​ ​this​ ​catchy​ ​song​ ​made​ ​me think​ ​of​ ​the​ ​closure​ ​you​ ​get​ ​after​ ​a​ ​breakup.

“8TEEN”​ ​is​ ​the​ ​seventh​ ​track​ ​on​ ​the​ ​album​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​more​ ​upbeat​ ​song​ ​about​ ​being​ ​a​ ​teenager and​ ​what​ ​that​ ​means.​ ​Khalid​ ​mentions​ ​topics​ ​such​ ​as​ ​his​ ​first​ ​love,​ ​strict​ ​parents,​ ​and​ ​staying out​ ​late​ ​with​ ​friends.​ ​I’d​ ​like​ ​to​ ​believe​ ​the​ ​song​ ​is​ ​titled​ “​8TEEN”​ ​because​ ​being​ ​eighteen​ ​is​ ​when you​ ​graduate​ ​and​  ​become​ ​more​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​college​ ​or​ ​a​ ​job. ​ Additionally, ​you​ ​also​ ​have​ ​to possibly​ ​leave​ ​your​ ​high​ ​school​ ​friends​ ​behind.​ ​The​ ​song​ ​opens​ ​up​ ​with​ ​the​ ​lyric​ ​“Woke​ ​up​ ​a little​ ​too​ ​late​ ​this​ ​morning,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​think​ ​I’ll​ ​be​ ​okay.”​ ​This​ ​is​ ​about​ ​the​ ​common​ ​sleep​ ​deprivation among​ ​high​ ​school​ ​students,​ ​another​ ​relatable​ ​lyric.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​chorus,​ ​Khalid​ ​touches​ ​on​ ​living​ ​with his​ ​strict​ ​parents​ ​and​ ​includes​ ​the​ ​words​ ​“Because​ ​I’m​ ​eighteen,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​still​ ​live​ ​with​ ​my​ ​parents, yeah​ ​they’re​ ​not​ ​like​ ​yours,​ ​well​ ​yours​ ​are​ ​more​ ​understanding.”​ ​This​ ​lyric​ ​talks​ ​about​ ​staying​ ​out late,​ ​taking​ ​risks,​ ​getting​ ​caught​ ​and possibly even​getting​ ​away​ ​with​ ​things.​ ​The​ ​second​ ​verse​ ​mentions​ ​not always​ ​being​ ​the​ ​smartest​ ​in​ ​school​ ​and​ ​how​ ​Khalid’s​ ​first​ ​love​ ​was​ ​there​ ​with​ ​him​ ​through​ ​the struggles.​ ​The​ ​second​ ​verse​ ​closes​ ​with​ ​the​ ​lyric​ ​“I​ ​wish​ ​it​ ​were​ ​the​ ​old​ ​days,”​ ​and​ ​really​ ​makes me​ ​think​ ​about​ ​how​ ​the​ ​artist​ ​must​ ​miss​ ​the​ ​days​ ​when​ ​he​ ​had​ ​less​ ​worries​ ​and​ ​more​ ​fun,​ ​since he​ ​is​ ​older​ ​now​ ​and​ ​has​ ​more​ ​responsibilities​ ​than​ ​he​ ​did​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school.​ ​The​ ​lyric​ ​that​ ​really sums​ ​up​ ​the​ ​song​ ​is​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​chorus;​ ​“So​ ​let’s​ ​do​ ​all​ ​the​ ​stupid​ ​things​ ​that​ ​young​ ​kids do.”​ ​This​ ​whole​ ​song​ ​is​ ​about​ ​being​ ​young​ ​and​ ​doing​ ​typical​ ​things​ ​teenagers​ ​do.​ ​This​ ​song​ ​is one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​catchiest​ ​songs​ ​on​ ​the​ ​album,​ ​and​ one of my personal ​ ​favorites.

“Young​ ​Dumb​ ​&​ ​Broke”​ ​is​ ​the​ ​second​ ​track​ ​on​ ​the​ ​album,​ ​following​ ​“American​ ​Teen,”​ ​the​ ​song that​ ​shares​ ​the​ ​same​ ​title​ ​as​ ​the​ ​album.​ ​“Young​ ​Dumb​ ​&​ ​Broke”​ ​is​ ​a​ ​tribute​ ​to​ ​youth​ ​and​ ​having little​ ​to​ ​care​ ​about.​ ​Although​ ​Khalid​ ​believes​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​need​ ​for​ ​commitment​ ​romantically,​ ​he “still​ ​got​ ​love​ ​to​ ​give.”​ ​The​ ​song​ ​opens​ ​up​ ​talking​ ​about​ ​the​ ​‘broke’​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​song,​ ​and​ ​not having​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​sustain​ ​a​ ​relationship.​ ​The​ ​chorus​ ​is​ ​repetitive​ ​in​ ​mentioning​ ​the​ ​three​ ​words in​ ​the​ ​title,​ ​and​ ​closes​ ​with​ ​the​ ​lyric​ ​“young​ ​dumb​ ​broke​ ​high​ ​school​ ​kids,”​ ​which​ ​can​ ​probably sum​ ​up​ ​many​ ​teenagers’​ ​lives​ ​while​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school.​ ​A​ ​key​ ​lyric​ ​in​ ​the​ ​second​ ​verse​ ​is​ ​“What’s​ ​fun about​ ​commitment​ ​when​ ​we​ ​have​ ​our​ ​life​ ​to​ ​live?”​ ​I​ ​interpreted​ ​this​ ​lyric​ ​as​ ​Khalid’s​ ​way​ ​of saying​ ​that​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​rush​ ​for​ ​committing​ ​to​ ​anything,​ ​whether​ ​it​ ​be​ ​love,​ ​college,​ ​a​ ​job,​ ​or anything​ ​else​ ​teenagers​ ​commonly​ ​have​ ​to​ ​commit​ ​to.

Overall,​ ​I​ ​would​ ​give​ ​‘American​ ​Teen’​ ​a​ ​9/10​ ​because​ ​the​ ​songs​ ​are​ ​catchy​ ​and​ ​relatable, especially​ ​to​ ​teenagers​ ​and​ ​young​ ​adults.​ ​The​ ​songs​ ​have​ ​good​ ​beats​ ​and​ ​give​ ​you​ ​a ‘live-in-the-moment’​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​vibe.​ ​I​ ​really​ ​enjoyed​ ​this​ ​album​ ​and​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​see​ ​what​ ​Khalid releases​ ​next.