Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global

Exploring the Depths of Khalid's Lyrics

Uncover the depth in Khalid's hit songs – from the need for communication in "Talk" to the challenges of youth in "Young, Dumb, & Broke". Click for insights!


Nov. 5 2023, Published 7:41 p.m. ET

When Khalid hit the music scene, we fell in love with his unique voice and Tracy Chapman-esque flow and delivery. He was different from the classical R&B artists. Many of us were drawn to his unique sound, which combined R&B, pop, soul, and some hints of hip-hop. And owing to the love of his music, Khalid became a successful artist.

Three albums (and many singles) later, many of us have grown to appreciate his songwriting skills and his storytelling abilities. His songs are markedly different from what his peers put out. Rather than revolve his song around the typical themes of sex, drugs, and money, Khalid chooses to take the road less traveled as he explores many different subject matters. He's sung about the heartbreak, loneliness, and anxiety of a teenager and the difficulties of trying to figure yourself out post-teen.

Let's explore the stories in some of his hits.

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"Talk" Ft. Disclosure

"Talk," featuring Disclosure, is a synth-heavy and upbeat song that combines Khalid's unique soothing voice with electronics. The story of "Talk" revolves around a relationship moving too fast and too quickly, with Khalid calling for more open communication among lovers.

As the protagonist, Khalid talks about the relationship with the partner, especially regarding where the relationship is headed. In essence, Khalid is trying to have the relationship defined sooner rather than later.


"Location" is a significant song for Khalid. It was his first song to go mainstream right before he graduated high school. The song explores the search for love as a young person. When asked about the song by Pigeons and Planes, he would say the song is about love, "the kind of love that you would travel all over the country to find. It's just a story of searching for something that we all want in life no matter who we are, and that's a real genuine lover, but it doesn't come easy."

The certified seven-time platinum single explores young love, the excitement that follows meeting someone new, going on the first date, and the thrill of falling in love. Additionally, the song explores the thrill of intimate love that's only felt when you are close to your lover.

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"Young, Dumb, & Broke"

"Young, Dumb, & Broke" is another feel-good song featured in the "American Teen" album. Sung over a simple yet catchy beat, Khalid explores the joys of being young. He also implores his peers to live in the moment unencumbered by their financial resources and experience in life, and he tries to convince a girl that there is nothing wrong with being young, dumb, and broke.

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"Silence" Ft. Marshmello

"Silence" features Marshmello and explores loneliness among young adults. With lines like "never felt a feeling of comfort," Khalid tells the story of trying to find a connection. Sung over an emotive and haunting beat, Khalid tells his story of struggling with fear, making it difficult to develop relationships.

Speaking with 92.3 AMP Radio, he said, "It's one of my favorite songs I've ever written because it's so personal." He explained the premise of the song, saying, "It's about accepting loneliness, using that to your advantage, and becoming creative and expressing yourself. You know, finding peace in violence."

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"1-800-273-8255" Logic Ft. Khalid & Alessia Cara

"1-800-273-8255" marked Khalid's first top 10 single. It's a collaboration between rapper Logic and Alessia Cara and is featured in Logic's third album, “Everybody.” The certified multi-platinum song explores the issue of mental health, with a particular focus on the grave issue of suicide.

In reference to suicide prevention, the title of the song is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline emergency number. The three artists explore the need to seek help when facing mental health challenges while giving hope to fans facing challenges that life is worth living.

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