From hearing his mother singing RNB classics by Brandy, SWV and Destiny's child as a young boy, Khalid quickly cultivated these early influences and built his own personalised aesthetic. A fan of artists such as Fleet Foxes and Father John Misty, his diverse musical taste has shaped his distinct tone and helped him break traditional barriers.
His debut album American Teen is about Khalid's own take on high school life, "With this album, I want to show everyone it’s okay to have emotions, it’s okay to be happy, and it’s okay to be sad". Indeed it was on the eve of his own graduation that Khalid created the huge hit and album breakout single "Location", which generated over 25 million Spotify streams and 4 million+ YouTube views. This inevitably sealed him a major label deal with Right Hand Music/RCA records.