Khalid returns with ‘Scrutiny’

by Amanda Gonzalez

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Following the success of his first album, American Teen, Khalid’s new EP offers emotional R&B with personal lyrics.

The EP, titled Suncity, was released Oct. 19 and shares similar musical elements to his first album. The EP was announced only weeks before its release, serving as a surprise for fans. Suncity features seven tracks, two of which are vocal-less interludes. Similar to what occurred with his previous album, Khalid played a major role in writing and producing the songs, giving them an intimate feel.

“Better,” the EP’s first single, combines classic R&B with elements of indie rock. Khalid delivers a message of companionship with lyrics like “Love to see you shine in the night like the diamond you are.” Released Sept. 14, the song peaked at No. 45 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100. Khalid has previously stated that “Better” serves as a follow-up to his American Teen single, “OTW.”

Continuing the motif of love and relationships, “Suncity” features verses in both English and Spanish. The upbeat tempo of the pop song provides a good contrast from the mellow tunes of the other tracks. Featuring R&B singer-songwriter Empress Of, “Suncity” is reminiscent of reggaeton music popular in Latin America.

The second track featured on the EP, “Vertigo,” contains smooth and emotional vocals. With lyrics like “I’ve been learning/ I’ve been growing,” the song discusses maturing in relationships. Accompanying Khalid’s silky voice is a steady, rhythmic drum beat and a slow melody.

“Salem’s Interlude” and “9.13” are two instrumental interludes from the EP that explore Khalid’s fears and future goals. The mellow tunes of the songs reflect the style of the other tracks.

Concluding his Roxy tour earlier this year, Khalid is currently performing at various locations across the country. In the past year, the R&B singer has won an award for best new artist at the Video Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and the Teen Choice Awards. With his newfound popularity, Khalid is remaining focused on songwriting and producing.

In an interview with Billboard, Khalid said, “I never go in thinking about making a hit record. I just go into the studio with people I love and respect and see what happens.”

The EP is available for purchase online, at various retail stores and at Apple Music. It is also available for streaming on Spotify.

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