Khalid releases sophomore album ‘Free Spirit’


Courtesy of Angelika Film Center

Caryn Miller, Contributing Writer

Contemporary R&B artist, Khalid released his sophomore album Free Spirit on Apr. 5th, two years after the release of American Teen.

The album has 17 tracks including hits “Talk” and “My Bad” that were released before the album debuted.

The album also features songs “Better” and “Saturday Nights” that are on Khalid’s EP Suncity from 2018.

Free Spirit is the first R&B album to reach No. 1 on Billboard in nearly a year. MTV said that in comparison to American Teen, Khalid tests his limits of sound in Free Spirit. He cruises outside his comfort zone and extends his creativity.

To promote and support the release of Free Spirit, Khalid and his team released “Free Spirit” the short film. 

The short film was played in select theaters on Apr. 3rd for one night only. Fans were given the opportunity to buy tickets and experience the 40-minute flick before the release of the album.

After the show, Khalid took fans inside the making of the film, where there was a commentary directly from the artist, and a secret listening party for viewers.

The “Free Spirit” short film is built around a group of friends finishing high school. They decide to escape their small town by going on a road trip and the story picks up from there.

For anyone who wasn’t able to watch the film when it was released, it is now available on Khalid’s YouTube channel.

While working on the album, Khalid told his manager Courtney Stewart that the music sounded like road trip music.

Stewart went and spent his own money on a 1972 van, had it restored, and had a Free Spirit themed mural painted on it. They invested in several more vans and had them drive to different cities and colleges to promote the album. The idea was to get the van to places that normally aren’t close to a big concert arena like New York.

Eleven vans pulled up to colleges across the U.S. filled with merchandise related to the album.

The excitement led to his announcement that this summer he will begin his first ever arena tour in North America.  

The tour will kick off on June 20th in Pheonix, Arizona and will finish around Aug. 17th in Miami, Florida. With special guest Clario, Khalid will make stops in Chicago, New York, and Toronto.

Khalid has also planned tour dates in Europe.

The album American Teen, released in 2017 is based on the themes of youthfulness and all the struggles that come along with growing up. However, in Free Spirit Khalid displays his maturity and the concept of soul searching.

Khalid has gone from a heartbroken teenager to a young adult finding himself. He told Billboard, “I’m at the point of understanding that I still know nothing at all on Free Spirit. I feel like the music right now that I’m writing is very self-reflective.”

Fans have reacted very positively to the new album, the short film, and Khalid’s efforts to make tour tickets affordable.

They are sure to be satisfied with his performance and his continued efforts to please his fans.