Khalid Says Soulful New EP ‘Scenic Drive (The Tape)’ Is the ‘Perfect Representation of the Person I Became’

R&B sensation Khalid is back with his all-new EP Scenic Drive (The Tape), which comes as a follow-up to his 2018 debut EP Sun City.

The Grammy-nominated artist has also partnered with Coca-Cola to launch an all-new TikTok challenge that aims to give BIPOC creators more visibility and recognition. As part of Coke’s TikTok Challenge, which is an extension of the brand’s Real Magic philosophy, Khalid released his tune “Open,” featuring Canadian duo Majid Jordan, to which fellow creative Jalaiah Harmon launched a new “Real Magic” dance to the track.

“Growing up, Coca-Cola has always been in my life, and with the release of my EP, it felt like the stars aligned themselves,” Khalid says of his new partnership. “They told me they were fans of my music as much as I’m a fan of them, so it’s truly a partnership. I’m blessed and honored to be a part of this.”

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Speaking further on his collaborative, smooth track “Open,” Khalid says, “’Open’ is one of my favorite songs on Scenic Drive. It’s a special song to me and creating it felt like magic. To be able to work with amazing collaborators like Majid Jordan who are a duo [of Majid Al Maskati and producer Jordan Ullman] that have inspired me since before I was a songwriter myself and before I made music in high school makes me smile.”

“Open” is “the perfect song for the [Coca-Cola] campaign,” and comes as the eighth tune on the nine-track Scenic Drive, which Khalid describes as “such a vibe.”

Khalid
Khalid Levi Turner on behalf of Coca-Cola

The 29-minute project is jam-packed with features from incredible artists, including Alicia Keys, 6LACK, Lucky Daye, QUIN, JID and Kiana Ledé. Plus, hitmakers Ari Lennox and Smino appear on its rhythmic title track, “Scenic Drive.”

Khalid, who previously topped Billboard’s Artist 100 chart for the first time in April 2019 as the No. 1 music act in the U.S, explains of his creative process, “I create music for long, late-night drives because after I record the song, I’m always leaving the studio at night and listening to the music in my car with my friends that came with me. We listen to it on repeat from our way to the studio to my house.”

“That resonates a lot with me,” adds the “Location” star. “Over the past few years, I’ve matured and learned so much about myself and who I am as a creative.” The longtime rhythm and blues  connoisseur details, “I’ve been tapped into the things that inspire me and my youth, R&B and soul music. That’s my foundation.”

He definitively states, “This tape is a perfect representation of the person I became over the years, but also the person who I was at the beginning. All of the collaborators did an amazing job. The songs melt into one another and everything was intentional in that we wanted to bring in people that I respect, whose music I listened to and that I’ve actually had conversations with.”

Khalid reflects on his journey from the making of Sun City to Scenic Drive: “Sun City, to me, was my homecoming and this is like, I’ve graduated school and now I’m coming back home as a young man. From the intro song, which I’m excited for people to hear Alicia Keys slams the keys so beautifully, right down to the last song [‘Scenic Drive’] with Ari Lennox and Smino. It reminds me so much of home, normalcy and being with the people I love.”

Through the years, he adds, Keys has “become like a mentor to me in the industry.”

Khalid
Khalid Levi Turner on behalf of Coca-Cola

Also exciting for Khalid, in addition to his Coca-Cola partnership and new music, the singer appears on Justin Bieber’s Grammy-nominated album Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) on their duet “As I Am.” The project could win album of the year and best pop vocal album awards at the 2022 Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, though, as a featured artist, Khalid would only win for AOTY. “Any award that comes my way is a blessing to forever be grateful for,” he says proudly. “I’m so appreciative of how far I’ve came and feel so blessed. I will never take for granted any award I’m nominated for. It’s a huge accomplishment.”

He’s also finalizing his upcoming third studio album. Titled Everything Is Changing, it’s set to be released next year. “I love it dearly,” he affirms. “I want to make sure it’s everything I imagined, remain grounded and not rush to release it.”

Khalid also appears on collaborative Christmas single “Fall in Love at Christmas” with holiday icon Mariah Carey and gospel music pioneer Kirk Franklin. He says of working with both greats, “I had a personal call with Mariah and we talked about the vision she had. Everything was supernatural. I’m grateful I was a part of it.”

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