Arguably the biggest name performing at the UCONNIC music festival, Khalid is one of the youngest and most talented artists in R&B right now. Having just recently turned 20, Khalid is a new face in the music scene, but he has quickly established himself as a voice for the younger generation with songs such as “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke” expressing themes associated with the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.
From his humble origins as a high school kid posting his music on SoundCloud, Khalid has become a Grammy-nominated, RIAA Platinum-certified artist all while collaborating with some of the industry’s top players. He has been featured on Logic’s chart-topping track “1-800-273-8255,” which was nominated for Song of the Year at this year’s Grammys. Khalid also established his name within the EDM community for his work with Marshmello on their single “Silence,” which Dan Rishty of Billboard described as "a rumbling dance ballad that has the ingredients to take both acts to new heights in their flourishing careers."
Khalid made a strong statement in 2017 with the release of his first full-length album, “American Teen.” 80s synths and tales of weed and booze-fueled high school raging shape the album that catapulted Khalid to mainstream success. Since then, he has launched a nationwide tour – dubbed the “Location Tour” in reference to the track that went quadruple Platinum – which sold out in all 21 cities. While Khalid’s musical success is undeniable, the decision for him to headline UCONNIC is questionable due to the downtempo and often melancholic nature of his songs. However, SUBOG has stated that he was the most popular choice in the poll they posed to students.
Sharing the stage with Khalid is Canadian rapper and R&B artist Tory Lanez. Lanez has been in the limelight for considerably longer than Khalid, getting his start all the way back in 2010 when Sean Kingston recognized his natural singing ability from the videos he was posting on YouTube. After signing with Kingston’s record label, dropping a few notable mixtapes and achieving moderate success as a result, he decided to work as an independent artist, only to resign with another label a couple years later.
Just last Friday, Lanez released his latest album “Memories Don’t Die” to critical ambivalence. His chameleonic style is universally noted as his modern rap influences are unabashedly transparent, pulling heavily from the work of Post Malone, J. Cole and Migos. However, opinions differ on where the line should be drawn between using other’s work as inspiration and unspectacular knock-off. I tend to align more closely with the latter, but it certainly isn’t unlistenable; it just isn’t anything new and exciting. Lanez’s discography is expansive compared to Khalid’s, so naturally there are more duds, but, pick and choose carefully, and I have no doubt that he will put together a great set for UCONNIC.
Unfortunately, UCONNIC is slated for the same weekend as Coachella which severely limited the supply of headliners SUBOG could potentially have booked. So, given the circumstances, there isn’t much room for complaints with this year’s lineup. Overall, expect a great show.
Mitchell Clark is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.