Khalid Donnel Robinson, more commonly known as Khalid, skyrocketed into fame at only 18 years old with the release of his top selling debut album American Teen in 2016. The album, which sold 1.2 million copies in 2017 alone, features songs such as “Young Dumb & Broke,” “Location,” and “8TEEN,” which highlight Khalid’s unique, soulful sound, as well as his relatable tales as a high school teenager.
Interestingly, Khalid’s music cannot be classified into a single genre; it combines aspects of both R&B and pop, showcasing his versatility. Since the release of American Teen, Khalid has continued to stay in the spotlight through his vocal contributions to songs by other prominent artists, including Halsey, Billie Eilish, and Martin Garrix. With hit collaborations coming out left and right, fans were left wondering when Khalid would release his next solo album.
It is no surprise, then, that they were ecstatic with news of Khalid’s new EP album, entitled Suncity. The EP is composed of two interludes and five songs, demonstrative of Khalid's stylistic range. Unlike the upbeat melodies of most songs on American Teen, the majority of the songs on the new EP are composed of somber, angst filled lyrics. “Vertigo,” perhaps the most beloved song on the album, ironically is also the most melancholy. The song begins, “Are we better off believing what the ignorant suggest? I wish living life was easier, but mine has been a mess.” The heartfelt vocals continue throughout the song, as illustrated through the lyric, “Thought I loved you in the moment, I was happy, I was not.” “Saturday Nights” is also a popular song on the album, featuring a sweet guitar ballad and lyrics about being young and finding your path in life. On the flip side, “Motion” and “Better” are lighter tunes with equally catchy lyrics.
Finally, the last song on the EP, “Suncity” features Empress Of and is unlike any other song Khalid has ever released, as half of it is sung in Spanish. Many fans speculate that many of the songs on Suncity will become future collaborations and remixes, much like the “Thunder/Young Dumb & Broke” medley that toppled charts in 2017.
The two interludes on the album are interesting, as American Teen was composed of fifteen songs with no intermissions. The first, “9.13,” is the first track on the EP, and introduces Khalid by including the city in which Khalid grew up, El Paso, Texas, a city near and dear to him. “Salem’s Interlude” is featured in the middle of the EP, and it is an uplifting voicemail about a woman’s fears and how they limit her from being the best she can be. The empowering message nicely complements the remainder of the EP.
Khalid tweeted that his new EP initiates the “start of a new era.” Fortunately for Khalid, in the eyes of fans, Suncity has proved a huge success thus far. Clearly, it is not only the start of a new era but also of a great era in the superstar's musical career.