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

Collaborative Genius: Artists Reflect on Working with Khalid

Discover what stars like Alicia Keys and Marshmello say about working with Khalid - a testament to his versatile and heartfelt musical genius.


Nov. 3 2023, Published 8:40 p.m. ET

Genius is an overused word, especially in casual conversations — but not when calling Khalid a collaborative genius!

Khalid has a stellar body of collaborative work. Whether he is pouring his heart out in one of his introspective songs backed up by a guest artist or appearing on another artist’s song, Khalid is a collaborative genius.

And the list of artists that he has collaborated with is spectacular. He has featured in the same song with R&B legends, including Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey. He has worked with living legends in hip-hop, such as Lil Wayne. He has also made hits with new-school superstars such as Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, and Ed Sheeran.

His ability to complement many different musical styles bodes well for his collaborative efforts. Additionally, he goes above and beyond to add substance to every project he features. He is not there just to fill in the minutes. And you can fill it in the music.

So, what do other artists who’ve collaborated with Khalid say about his efforts? Let’s find out.

Alicia Keys on Working with Khalid

In an interview with Billboard’s Carl Lamarre, Alicia Keys had heaps of praise for Khalid. She starts by saying, “Obviously, we’ve had mutual respect for each other for a minute, and I’ve been just super proud of him.”

Aside from appreciating Khalid as a person, she also has an appreciation for his artistry, noting his abilities are “kind of rare to find.” She continued, “Like, finding people who really stand in their own power, their own zone as a writer, producer, and creator.”

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She went on to describe his artistry, saying, “My favorite part about him is that he’s so unafraid to be vulnerable and to talk about those parts that are maybe not even talked about as much as a young man, as a human, and as a person. So I’ve always appreciated that about him and celebrated him for that.”

She shows her confidence in Khalid’s abilities by saying, “So I knew that if we did something together, it would definitely have a zone and have a vibe. People were asking, “Can you and Khalid do something together?” and it was already on my mind anyway.”

She was even astonished to have been comfortable to write with him, having never written with him before. “We connected, got together — and it’s actually crazy because when I reflect on it, I usually don’t write with people that I don’t know, just because it’s such an intimate space. I haven’t written with him before.”

She concluded, saying, “But it was super amazing. It was pure energy and pure light.”

Marshamello and 6LACK’s Impressions of Working with Khalid

Marshmello also heaped praise on Khalid for being willing to feature on “Numb,” despite the song being different from what he is used to. In a statement to Rolling Stone, he said, “I was super happy when I asked him if he wanted to do the song, and he said yes because the song is a little different vibe for him, but I knew he would crush it.”

Speaking to the Recording Academy, 6LACK revealed that working with Khalid was easy. “Having originally linked up on 2018’s “OTW,” he said, working with Khalid again was like “two brothers working, it’s super easy, supernatural.”

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