21-year-old singer Khalid may have blown up by capturing the hearts and minds of America’s teens, but it looks like now he’s ready to address the scary business of growing up. The Texas singer chatted with Beats 1 Radio host Zane Lowe about his upcoming sophomore album, Free Spirit, to break down his creative inspirations, which he says have led to a darker vibe than his optimistic debut.
“For me, although it’s called Free Spirit, it’s definitely so dark,” he said. “It’s dark, but it’s not too dark, where’s like, ‘Ugh, I’m dragging, I’m so sad.'” He attributes this new tone to the fact that he’s coming of age and he sees the age from 18-21 as some of the roughest in life — although, granted, he doesn’t have kids and probably won’t have crushing college debt in his 30s or anything.
“Luckily, I get to find myself through these records,” he admitted. He says that the album will also run the gamut of genres from disco to soulful R&B to pop, which will allow him to address the different moods within that scary growing up time. It sounds intriguing and if it’s half as good as his prior EP, Suncity, and lives up to the promise of its singles “Talk” and “Better,” it’s going to be worth the bumpy ride.
Free Spirit is due April 5 through RCA Records.