It’s not often you get the perfect trifecta of a hot summer evening in London in a perfect setting powered by Beatsbydre. Setting the tone with an intimate rooftop party we headed over to the heart of Dalston, to check out the super talented and newly anointed teen star Khalid with his dynamic band. Since his album, he’s been unstoppable with a feature on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Heart Part 4’ and Calvin Harris’ ‘Future heavy Rollin’, touring with Travis Scott and yet more UK dates to be announced after selling out his London headline show earlier in March.
Kicking off the party under the blazing summer heat, Jamz Supernova got everyone in the mood with the finest selection of grooves from Goldlink to Kendrick Lamar and Drake – and she definitely had me trying to control myself with the two step. As creatives, industry heads and fans flooded through the doors, casual chatter and the occasional dance quickly filled up the space. For anyone who needed a taster of what to expect from Khalid’s set, there was a chance to listen to ‘American Teen’, courtesy of some listening stations set up by Beatbydre fully equipped with iPads and Beats headphones.
The overall energy was cool and relaxed but soon got rowdy as the free food bar closed and we all gathered around the little stage patiently waiting for Khalid to get into some tracks from his debut album. Taking my spot in the corner, I could spot every true Khalid supporter whispering in pure anticipation until he finally came out. As the band set up, despite a few technical issues for the pianist as he tried to signal the sound engineer before the first song played, Khalid just shook it off and went straight in with the indie chords of ‘Let’s Go’.
‘Let’s Go’ depicts the life of teenager just after you finish with all that exam stress and those social distractions. Perfect for the summer, it’s a carefree song to chill or dance to and that’s exactly the one thing that makes me so fond of Khalid. His teenage experiences and aesthetic, heavily influence those catchy melodies and lyrics, leaving you with that familiar feeling that relate so much to some parts of your own teenage life. All coming together with layers of indie and R&B, its delivered so smoothly in his inimitable voice and style.
But there’s no question that Khalid’s personality shined effortlessly, and it showed as he connected with his diehard fans standing in the front row waving their arms, mouthing every word. Seemingly comfortable on stage pro photographers and iPhone photographers all battled each other to get the perfect shot of Khalid in his zone. Going on to perform a selection of tracks from the album, as he sang ‘Another Sad Love Song’ he jokingly remarked how some of his songs were so sad and moany but soon switching it up with the milly rock and the occasional subtle dab, Khalid knew how to gass up his own party.
As Khalid’s set drew to a close he signed off with platinum hit song ‘Location’, singing “I don’t wanna fall in love off of subtweets so let’s get personal”. And Khalid is just the type of guy you hope to meet in the summer, he won’t be sliding in your dms but is cool to vibe with you in person.
Khalid is also the third artist to be featured on Beats 1 “Up Next”, which kicked off with an interview with Ebro Darden below. You can check out the short film introducing Khalid, and a live “Up Next Session” featuring Khalid performing three live tracks (8TEEN, Location, Young Dumb & Broke) on Apple Music.
Read our Cover Story with Khalid here.