Photo: Linus Johnson

Khalid – Softest Touch

The pop-R&B mainstay sets the tone for new album EVERYTHING IS CHANGING

Pop-singer Khalid is back with new single, “Softest Touch.” The young star, known for hit songs like “Young, Dumb, and Broke, “Location,” and “Better,” has had a stranglehold on Gen-Z since the release of his debut album, American Teen, back in 2017. Popular collaborations with Billie Eilish, Logic/Alessia Cara, and Marshmello have only aided his near-symbiotic relationship with young listeners, but also established him as a surefire hitmaker. With “Softest Touch,” he strays just a bit from his traditional pop-R&B sound and revisits a style he had previously only dipped his toes into.

“Softest Touch” could have, easily, been a leftover from Khalid’s sessions with Calvin Harris that lead to “Rollin,” a cut off the seminal 2017 record Funk Wave Bounces Vol. 1, also featuring Future. The track deviates from the sound of recent releases like “Last Call” and “When We Go Together,” a duet with Dove Cameron, opting to ring in the summer a bit early with a brighter, club-ready dance track.

Khalid, who is as ubiquitous a singer as anyone of his contemporaries, rides the beat of the Nile Rodgers/Chic-type funk-house track to perfection. He, like SZA, on “The Weekend,” seems content to share a partner for the moment, but is, by all means, infatuated by them; “I know you got other guys that you call / I’m not the only one involved / But that’s not an issue at all, at all / You’ve got the softest touch / I just can’t get enough.

He begins tossing in his signature drippy R&B-laden runs and riffs in the second verse, and, from then on, maintains complete control. Expertly switching between soft and rougher tones as he has so many times before, Khalid manages to meet in the middle of sweet and sensual for this fun and instantly singable tune.

The track is a teaser for his upcoming record, EVERYTHING IS CHANGING, which he has alluded will be coming soon. In an interview with Apple Music 1’s, Eddie Francis, Khalid described his vision for the vibe of the track; “I just want to provide the summer nights, summer days into the summer nights, and when you’re just with your people that you care about, that you love the most, and you just want to vibe, and you just want to chill. That’s what I’m here for as an artist.”

You can check out “Softest Touch,” and the rest of Khalid’s diverse catalog, on Spotify:

Khalid, along with other stars like Russ and DYLAN, will be opening for Ed Sheeran on his “Mathematics Tour” in stadiums across the US this summer.