The audacity of Calvin Harris, is at this point, astounding. Not only did he come out of nowhere with a new-found respect for actual musical instruments, but he's also announced an album – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, coming 30 June – with a features list more respectable than the Met Gala. And that means – *deep breath* – Frank Ocean, Kehlani, Travis Scott, Future, Katy Perry, Pharrell, Big Sean, John Legend, Khalid, Migos, Schoolboy Q, Ariana Grande, Young Thug, D.R.A.M., Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty, Jessie Reyez, PartyNextDoor aaaand Snoop Dogg. On top of all that, he's likely already dropped the song of the summer in the form of the Frank Ocean and Migos-featuring "Slide," which has that "Mm Bop" quality of literally sounding like how the sun feels on your skin. Rude, really, for a man with a few too many Ellie Goulding collaborations under his belt.
His latest release, "Rollin'" (no, nothing to do with that one) continues on with his sunshine-y, Pharrell-on-holiday-esque vibe. The song feels designed for being extremely glamorous in an expensive convertible (driving around to it in your brother's Astra with the windows down will probably also suffice though), and features Future and Khalid. Future's verse is what we've come to expect, but the real surprise is the strength of Khalid's excellent vocal.
Though he's doing big things in the US, Khalid's profile is a lower here in the UK, and "Rollin'" is an excellent introduction to him if you aren't familiar. He has already released one of the strongest albums of this year in American Teen, a soulful, laid-back and extremely accomplished (he's 19) ode to being young right now. Like Frank Ocean with fewer neuroses, Khalid's voice is a balm on Harris' track, cutting through the instrumental with a classic R&B sweetness that few singers right now (though I always think of his female equivalent as Kehlani) can muster.
If "Rollin'" if your first experience of Khalid, it's definitely an extremely strong one. As a further step, I recommend that the next time the sun is shining, you put on your sunglasses, hop on a bike and ride around to the romantic strains of American Teen. It's for your health.
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(Image via Calvin Harris on Twitter)