Artist Spotlight: Khalid

Khalid is an R&B/Hip-hop singer-songwriter with an ever-expanding repertoire. He is a chill vibes playlist mainstay. His soulful voice lends color to the EDM and folky tracks he has been featured on. If you have not heard of him, I am sure many of your students have. While Khalid was in high school he studied vocals, was into musical theater, began writing music and was subsequently discovered on Soundcloud. At 18, he wrote his most famous song 'Location', which peaked at 16th on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, during a brief meeting with A&R managers. His songwriting ability is uncanny. He is pretty impressive!

Classroom music and general music curriculum offer students, like Khalid, an introduction to musicology and classical artistry. This classroom should also be the place where traditional music, contemporary music, and industry standards meet to give students access to the possibilities that exist. A longitudinal study conducted by Youth Music and Birmingham City University showed a music program that breaks outside the bounds of traditional music incorporating genres like hip/hop or techniques like remixing or multi-track recording yields powerful results. The introduction of the new concepts activated the students’ creativity and helped them make tangible connections between their world and what they learned. It also helped the students develop their soft skills. The study found that "Music was... an engagement hook, and the strong social connections that were developed helped to re-engage young people in education, develop their confidence and self-belief and create a more positive attitude to learning."

This is why MusicEDU loves working with music departments. MusicEDU aims "give every child the opportunity to enjoy music in the classroom, by creating engaging and relevant curriculum solutions that support teachers.” We want to see secondary (junior high) school students “excited about what's happening at their school and what they’re learning” and endeavor to “open their eyes to the industry that exists behind the music." MusicEDU helps music teachers and music departments remain fully equipped to provide a multifaceted music education.

Last year at just 21, Khalid was listed as one of the most influential people of 2019. Crazy, huh! You can check out his songwriting abilities here. Khalid and Brasstracks created "Whirlwind", as part of the Yours Truly & Adidas Originals Songs #songsfromscratch Improvisation.

How are you merging the classical and the contemporary music age? Perhaps you want more information on how MusicEDU can help you make it happen? Join the conversation and let the MusicEDU team know what you are doing!