Khalid’s debut album, American Teen, is one of the year’s most-soulful projects. The 19-year-old El Paso native is marking the album’s release by putting out the video for the title track.
The youthful fun of the clip is a reminder that Khalid is really, really young.
It’s worth noting how multidimensional the rollout for American Teen has been. When Khalid first popped up on hip-hop radar’s five months ago with the video for “Location,” he was getting a lot of comparisons trying to pinpoint his exact sound. Since then, we’ve been getting a monthly single, each sounding different than the last. This wide-ranging array of tracks all appear on American Teen. The album’s smart layout of smooth transitions show how complex the modern “American Teen,” and Khalid, truly are.
Khalid described American Teen to Entertainment Weekly as his whole youth compressed into an album. “The mistakes I’ve made, the heartbreaks I went through, the love that I got, and all the love that I lost.” Khalid’s adamant that the bulk of the album’s songs are truly about the isolation that coming-of-age creates, specifying “Even the ones that are happy, there’s a lonely undertone to them.”