CRITICS’ CORNER: Music Review: Suncity

Chris Hartigan, Staff Reporter, Sophomore

R&B artist Khalid released his eagerly awaited second album, Suncity, on October 19. Suncity is a nickname for the town where he grew up — El Paso, Texas. The album is made up of seven songs that display Khalid’s versatility as an artist; the album has an eclectic mix of songs (including 9.13, Vertigo, Salem’s Interlude, Motion, and Better) ranging from slow and mellow (“Suncity”), to upbeat and feel-good songs (“Saturday Nights”). There are even a few songs that are on the serious side which steer away from the pop style for which he is known. For example, the song Saturday Nights has more of a country feel, while the title song, Suncity, features Latin singer Empress Of, and transmits Latin vibes. The album has peaked at number 8 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums, while songs “Saturday Nights”, “Suncity”, “Better”, and “Vertigo” have been listed on Billboard’s Top 100 songs. Better, released in mid September, made the Billboard Top 50, making it the most popular song on the album with almost 150 million plays on Spotify. With a catchy chorus, it is one of the only songs on the album that retains Khalid’s classic sound. The album has the ability to touch every emotion in just seven songs, with Khalid singing about the hardships in both his personal and love life.

“I have really enjoyed listening to the album. It’s something different from Khalid that no one expected. I always have it playing when I am with my friends or my family,” sophomore Brooke Gates said.

Khalid’s love and aspiration for making music stems from early in his childhood. Khalid, whose full name is Khalid Donnel Robinson, was born on February 11, 1998 in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Growing up, his mom who raised him by himself served in the military, so he was never in the same place for a long time which was hard on him. As a kid, he lived in places like New York, Kentucky, and Germany, finally settling in El Paso, Texas. Through all the change in his life, one thing remained the same: his passion and love for music. In high school, Khalid studied singing and musical theater. His mother was also a singer, and he credits her for his interest in music and urge to pursue it.

Khalid began making and uploading his own music on soundcloud in 2016. His first album, American Teen, was released in 2017. The album reached number four on the U.S Billboard charts and included his two most popular songs to date, Young Dumb and Broke and Location, which reached number one and number two on the Billboard Hot R&B song chart, respectively. In his short music career, Khalid has already been nominated for five Grammy awards including Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Song and Song of the Year for his feature in artist Logic’s song 1-800-273-8255. He has also been nominated for three Video Music Awards categories like Best New Artist, which he won in 2017. He is currently the third most-played artist on Spotify behind Drake and Selena Gomez, and it seems that the talent Khalid displays on Suncity will only further his fame and respect in the world of music. Suncity is a unique album and I recommend it to those willing to try new things.