R&B artist Khalid Donnel Robinson, known professionally as Khalid, captivated the world with his break-out track “Location” and his debut album “American Teen.” Khalid has returned with his follow-up extended player (E.P.) “Suncity,” another name for El Paso, Texas.
Khalid’s new E.P. is a sweet, brief introduction to his softer side. The 21-minute project features an excerpt from the day the 20-year-old singer/songwriter was presented with the keys to the city of El Paso in September 2018.
The El Paso singer has talent. Khalid can jump from genre to genre; his voice is strong, and he even has some charm. “Suncity” doesn’t escape that feeling.
Khalid shows love and appreciation for El Paso, where he attended high school. He is a pop star, and he’s talented on the R&B end— but it’s just not where he’s most comfortable.
The 7-track playlist includes a brief opening called “9.13,” a track of Khalid receiving the keys to the city of El Paso. Other songs such as “Vertigo” enhance a range of Khalid’s vocals that I have never heard from him before. “Saturday Nights” strikes as a low tempo guitar-based ballad about being young and lost but finding your way through it all. “Salem’s Interlude” seems to follow a story of fear and direction. “Motions” appears to express the triumph of falling in love.
“Better” is a softer side of Khalid that embraces a little of R&B. Honestly, it is my favorite song off the E.P. The main track “Suncity” stands out as the mid-tempo track that brings a special Latin vibe. In the bilingual collaboration track, Khalid sings in English and Spanish with Latin American singer/songwriter Empress Of.
Khalid seems to feel at home having another vocalist to bounce off of and not having to carry the future hit on his own. Having history with the mostly Hispanic city of El Paso helped Khalid to create a feeling of certainty.
I insist you listen to the entire album because it is definitely enjoyable from beginning to end. This music was genuine, and it seems as though Khalid spent a lot of time figuring out the right songs to put on this E.P. Khalid stated that he wants his music to grow and represent how he is growing up. I think the E.P. accomplished Khalid’s goal through sound in a new form.
Even though Khalid has grown throughout the project, he is mostly the same. He is still the least controversial pop star we have right now—which, in this moment, we need more of. Khalid’s E.P. is definitely hinting towards a full album in the future. I hope there will be a release in early 2019.