El Paso's desert landscapes may seem an unlikely muse for this year's breakout R&B album. But to Khalid, they proved welcoming enough to become the military brat's adopted home, offering him the solitude necessary to craft his debut album American Teen. Wise beyond his years while still a kid at heart, the flattop sporting casual crooner rides mellow beats that mesh 80's synth-pop with a modern feel. The 19-year-old's tales of lost loves and new attractions are winning fans over everywhere, but the newfound fame hasn't made him forget where he came from. The 'American Teen' recently returned to El Paso for a secret homecoming show at Americas High School where he graduated last year; a display of humility that ensures Khalid a future brighter than the desert's sun.
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