Khalid Says He Never Expected ‘1-800-273-8255’ To Go Top 10, But Hopes The Song Helps People

Khalid, the fast-rising young superstar whose singles “Young, Dumb, And Broke” and “Location” have become Top 40 mainstays, got to add another impressive accomplishment to his resume. “1-800-273-8255,” the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline-inspired Logic single that he guested on with Alessia Cara, entered Billboard‘s Top 10, a feat he says he “never expected.”

However, 19-year-old singer refuted the idea that 2017 is his best year ever, despite a string of star-making performances and having his American Teen debut album climb into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart months after its release.

“2017 right now is not the best year that I’ve had, personally, especially being a minority in America, he told Billboard in an interview about “1-800-273-8255″‘s recent success since the trio’s VMA performance increased the Lifeline’s phone traffic by over 50%. “The light has been set on the negativity. I mean, we have a president who doesn’t really have a true understanding on how to be a president — that doesn’t always help — and I feel like it takes a lot of courage, especially for minorities, to speak out about what they believe in.”

Of the song’s tremendous leap in popularity (from No. 29 to No. 5), Khalid said, “I hoped that it would help other people, [but] I didn’t expect it to go top 10. It’s kind of overwhelming, because it allows me to realize that, while this is the beginning for me, I do have a top 10 song with artists like Alessia Cara and Logic, who are amazing and use their platform to benefit others.”

He also hinted that the experience could have a profound effect on his future music, saying, “Even though I was super personal with American Teen, I want to tap in and not just tell my own stories, but tell the stories of other people — so that I can help as many people as possible.”