Music

Khalid’s Wistful New Single ‘Don’t Pretend’ Makes One Simple Request

Khalid’s sophomore album, Free Spirit, releases this Friday and to stoke the already-high anticipation for the new project, dropped his latest single, the wistful “Don’t Pretend.” The song features 21-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter SAFE and features a lilting electronic beat with plaintive lyrics directed to an ex-lover asking her to check in once in a while. The two singers harmonize well on the song, which delivers on Khalid’s promise of taking a “darker” direction with his new music.

Free Spirit is also the title of a short film which will precede the album and receive its live debut at theaters nationwide, including an early listening session of the album for attendees. Khalid also debuted Free Spirit Radio with Apple Music’s Beats 1, co-hosted by none other than flagship Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. In the first episode, Khalid discussed the upcoming album, its influences, and revealed a track with OVO Sound pop group Majid Jordan — who have also worked with SAFE — which he called “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever done.”

The second episode of Free Spirit Radio will launch this Friday to accompany this album, with an in-depth, song-by-song discussion breaking down each of the album’s tracks, which will also include singles “Talk,” “Self,” and “Better.” He’ll also be

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going on tour this summer beginning in June.

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