Jennifer Zuniga Advertising Manager
On March 28, Khalid, a contemporary R&B singer-songwriter, released “Self,” a song that will be in his new album, “Free Spirit,” set to be released April 5.
Although he has written songs about friends who have dealt with suicidal thoughts, he has never felt the same way. However, there have been times where he has wanted to “disappear.” This concept is clear in “Self.” He spoke about the problems he has faced, his troubles with self-reflection, a sense of self-direction based off the foundation of self-love which can help him leave a legacy, and a massive amount of growth.
In the beginning, the background music instantly takes you to a place of thought where you feel the sense of his remedy as he vents about his inner emotions. He begins the song, “It’s gettin’ hard for me to breathe/’Cause the man that I’ve been runnin’ from is inside of me/I tell him keep it quiet/So hardly does he speak/’Cause he wants to keep his distance/But it’s hard for him to leave/He knows I hear him cryin’/Cryin’ out for help.” In this half of verse one, he talks about how he felt having to deal with his inner voice. He acknowledges that the person he is trying to run away from is his subconscious, and declares that his subconscious needs help. He acknowledges that people die every day and he isn’t afraid of death, but of not living. He is scared of feeling this pain.
Khalid takes his listeners to another place by claiming that he struggles with self-reflection. We see this in his chorus, “I don’t need another hand, I need a couple suggestions/Always had a little trouble with self-reflections/Now, does my raw emotion make me less of a man?/Always had a little trouble with self-reflections.” He reveals he needs advice from someone, but not from just anyone. Often times, we go to people with our issues, and sometimes they tend to judge us, making a bigger mess. Khalid is trying to convey this in his lyrics, “I don’t need another hand, I need a couple suggestions.” He continues to talk about how he has trouble with self-reflection, which is meditation or a serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives. Considering the stereotypes surrounding masculinity that men deal with daily, he is not being able to show emotion because it will make him look less like a “man.”
Additionally, we are able to see a sense of self-direction based off the foundation of self-love and leaving a legacy near the end of his song when he says, “I’ve been so used to winnin’/It was hard for me to lose/No, there’s nothing wrong with me/Is there something wrong with you?” This is where he portrays the idea that we tend to take our low moments as though we are losing, but he declares that there’s nothing wrong with him for feeling this way. He continued his song with “So I’ve been making changes/Been workin’ on my health/No more competition/Can’t compete against myself, no, no, no.” He acknowledges that if he wants to change his subconscious thoughts, then he has to work on his health. Therefore, instead of always fighting against himself, he should stop because you are one with self. He expresses that he is not doing it to be remembered with the following lyrics: “I’m not doin’ this to be loved, no, no/I’ve been doin’ this to be remembered/Let the people hear it if they want to/Help the one’s around me get it on, too/If I die tomorrow and I’m gone/Let the blood run high/Let the carpets drown/I’ll be forever now.” Ultimately, he wants to be remembered for helping others, but that’s only if they want to hear.
The end reveals a massive amount of growth. He started singing in his outro, “Let this be a promise/That when it’s said and done/Be a flower in the garden/Be one with the sun.” This is the point where he starts to make the promise to work on his health, so he can get mentally better. In the end, he knows that the issues he has, and perhaps is still facing, will only allow growth in his life, and will eventually get him to the point where he is one with his own soul. Khalid’s new song “Self,” shows that he is maturing after his debut studio album, “American Teen.” This has left me and others to wonder what he has in store for us with his new album.