After breaking up with my first girlfriend, I fell to pieces. Video games were my vice, and I also turned to social media for comfort. But I was hurt. I wanted to fix things immediately. That didn’t happen. Eventually, I grew up and moved on. I had to realize that the situation was over and, in the long run, it helped me better process my emotions. Khalid‘s “Up All Night” takes me back to this time, before facial hair and any kind of bass in my voice.
Khalid’s on the verge of maturing past what sounds like a rough breakup that has drained him mentally. He’s much more mature than I was, though. He’s “coping with the pain” and realizes that he’s “only getting older.” At one point, he even thinks about the idea of mortality and what happens in the future. That the song sounds so cheery and upbeat is at odds with its contemplative nature, and that’s perhaps why I love it so much. If I would have heard this at 16, I would have immediately cheered right on up. —Trey Alston