Taking a break from the norm, I decided to attend Khalid's first Atlanta show at The Loft at Center Stage Wednesday night. I asked my TV/film producing partner Alvin Agarrat to join me because he seems to be up on all the goings on and all... We arrived a little after 8:30 pm, and there was a line for Khalid and David East, who was on-stage next door at Vinyl. Now granted, Alvin already knew who Khalid was and professed to me how he liked his song "Location."
We entered The Loft, and I told the guy at the ticket counter, "my name is Patrick Kelly, and I am on RCA's guest-list." He was like, " there is no guest list tonight." No, he did not say that (jokingly). We got in without a hitch.
As I took in the crowd, which was a bunch of college kids, I thought to myself, "this kid has a diverse and dedicated following." I then bugged the sound guy for Khalid's song-list, because I did not know his music, and wanted to know what he was singing. The sound guy was all too eager to give me the list. Truthfully, he was pretty cool and helped a brotha out.
The show started on time when RCA said it would, at 9:30 pm sharp. As Khalid's intro blared through the speakers, I leaned over to Alvin and said, "you know if this had been a particular artist or promoter, we would still be waiting 1-2 hours later." We laughed aloud, but no one heard us.
An unintended career and where he was today, Khalid confessed that he did not see this, the artist on stage performing to crowds, in his future. Was it happenstance? As he delved into his 30-minute set, I confess that his second song "Hopeless" had me moving. So as I listened to him sing his story and the mature inflections in his voice, his tone and delivery, I grew into a fan. Khalid's voice is like a breath of fresh air drizzled with drips of sweet honey. To be 18 and to sing with such maturity and passion tells a lot about one’s travels and experiences. When I hear Khalid sing, I think about Tracy Chapman for some reason.
Wait a minute, did he just hit us with "Reasons?" I was completely and utterly done. Wow, after that performance, I forced myself through the crowd to get closer to the stage. What? I needed some close-ups and video footage. Why is this chick gonna be like, “Are you gonna move?" I was nice.
"Young Dumb and Broke" was the fourth song performed from his set. A new song from his upcoming, debut album “American Teen” – out March 3; the beat was thumping, the arrangement was creative, and the delivery was just right of course. As I watched Khalid perform, he seemed so comfortable with himself, engaging and just plain cool, with some swagged-out moves.
“Location,” which of course is his most notable single, was the last song of his set. “I wrote the song “Location” because I was trying to get a girl. I did not get the girl, but “location” still became a single,” Khalid explained as he related to the audience and the audience responding back to him. Of course, we all can relate to a love interest or crush. Oh, how the feeling of rejection can build such great character. I bet the girl who rejected him now wishes she had given him a chance…him doing what he loves and all.
Great job Khalid! You impress me… You make me want to know more about you, as I listen to all of your music while writing this review.
Follow Khalid at:
Official Website: http://www.khalidofficial.com
Review By: Patrick Kelly for #USLMAG
Special thanks to Michelle at RCA Records.
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